Ex-fugitive convicted in Ohio trial in $100M fraud of Navy veterans charity
CLEVELAND — A mysterious defendant in a $100 million, cross-country Navy veterans charity fraud case was convicted on Thursday of racketeering, theft, money laundering and other charges.
Jurors deliberated for about three hours on Wednesday before reaching guilty verdicts on all 23 counts. They 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.
The defendant calls himself Bobby Thompson, but authorities say he's Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody. He was indicted in 2010, vanished for two years and was arrested last year in Portland, Ore.
He could get up to 67 years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 16.
The defendant rolled his eyes toward the ceiling and rocked on his feet as the verdicts were read. Deputies cuffed his wrists after the first guilty verdict was announced. Unlike the last two days of his trial, the defendant showed up with his shirt buttoned and his hair combed.
He was charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa.
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Arizona, Texas university shootings kill 2
- More emails on Benghazi to go public
- Scotland Yard’s Crime Museum goes on display in London
- Gun rights supporters protest Obama’s trip to Oregon after campus shooting
- Court blocks Obama water protections
- Hurricane remnants hit Alaska coast
- Inmates help dying prisoners in Ohio hospice
- House OKs end of oil export ban adopted in 1970s in response to Arab embargo
- Iowa ex-lottery security officer hit with new charges
- Drone in Ellipse leads to citation for operator
- Transient trio jailed in pair’s slayings in California