Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Assistant Ohio Attorney General Brad Tammaro speaks during closing statements at the trial of Bobby Thompson Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Cleveland. Thompson, who authorities have identified as Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, is charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran from Tampa, Fla. The charity fraudulently registered with the state of Ohio in 2003 and made annual renewals, the prosecutor said. The charges include racketeering, money laundering, theft and identity theft.Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Cleveland. Judge Steven E. Gall, left, listens. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Ohio jury convicts ex-fugitive in $100M fraud case
First Published Nov 14 2013 07:42 am • Last Updated Nov 14 2013 07:42 am

Cleveland • A mysterious defendant in a $100 million, cross-country Navy veterans charity fraud case was convicted Thursday of racketeering, theft, money laundering and other charges.

The jury, which deliberated for about three hours Wednesday, heard nothing from the ex-fugitive, who changed his mind and decided against testifying. His attorney said he wanted to tell his story but worried about his mental state if he faced aggressive cross-examination by prosecutors.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The defendant identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson, but authorities say he’s Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody. He was indicted in 2010, disappeared for nearly two years and was arrested last year in Portland, Ore.

He was charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa, Fla. As his five-week trial wound down before closing arguments Tuesday, he had appeared disheveled in court, so much so that the judge suggested a break to allow him to get a clean shirt and comb his hair.

His attorney, Joseph Patituce, noted during a break in the trial that the defendant had bloodied himself last week while pounding his head against the wall in a holding cell. The judge said the defendant was checked by the jail medical staff.

Authorities believe he defrauded donors of up to $100 million in 41 states. A fraction of that money was found.

When he was arrested, authorities found fake IDs and a suitcase with $980,000 in cash.

Records show the defendant had showered politicians, often Republicans, with political donations. The judge rejected a defense request to subpoena testimony from leading Ohio Republicans, including U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

Authorities said they traced the name Bobby Thompson to a man who wasn’t connected to the charity case and had his identity stolen, including his Social Security number and date of birth.

The defendant was identified through military fingerprint records.


story continues below
story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.