A Cleveland jury found John Donald Cody, aka Bobby Thompson, guilty of stealing millions of dollars from donors to his fake national charity, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association.
After a six week trial, which covered the testimony of 42 prosecution witnesses, Cody was convicted yesterday on 23 charges including theft, money laundering, tampering with records, and identity fraud.
He faces between 10 and 70 years in prison, and will be sentenced on Dec. 16.
(Original post published 9/30/2013 at 9:27 a.m.) A former fugitive is heading to trial today in Cleveland for allegedly masterminding a $100 million, multi-state fraud under the guise of helping U.S. Navy veterans.
John Donald Cody, 67, who goes by the name "Bobby Thompson," has been charged with defrauding hundreds of people who thought they were donating to a reputable Tampa, FL based charity, the United States Navy Veterans Association, reports The Atlantic Wire.
Investigations into the charity by the St. Petersburg Times in 2010 revealed that Cody's philanthropic organization was nothing more than a big fat lie.
Generous donors who spanned 41 states, were actually just lining Cody's pockets who- get this- is a Harvard trained lawyer and former military intelligence officer. Two million dollars was defrauded from Ohio residents alone.
In addition to plumping his own wallet, Cody also showered GOP politicians with his ill-gotten gains, including the likes of former President George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani.
He was finally arrested in 2012.
Cody's defense team sought to force testimony by recipients to show that his political donations were legal, but a judge denounced that move last week.
Cody's attorney said any fraud involved solicitors, not his client.
However, the donations are at least somewhat relevant because Cody used photos of himself posing next to GOP big shots to solicit money for his fake charity.