Man Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison for Charity Fraud

Man Convicted in $100 Million Navy Veterans’ Charity Fraud Case

charity fraudA man accused of running a charity fraud case out of Florida has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for running the scam.

On November 14th, an Ohio jury found the mystery man, referred to in court documents as “Mr. X,” guilty of charity fraud that cost donors $100 million over several years. The defendant claims he is a man named Bobby Thompson, but prosecutors and authorities both say that he is actually a former attorney named John Donald Cody.

Authorities traced the name Bobby Thompson back to a man who was not connected with the charity fraud, and who had his identity stolen.

Cody was convicted for federal crimes related to his charity fraud, including racketeering, theft, 12 counts of identity theft, and money laundering. He was indicted on the charity fraud charges in Florida in 2010, but escaped and disappeared for two years, before being arrested in Portland, Oregon.

His charges stem from an organization that he ran in Florida, called the United States Navy Veterans Association, which collected money for veterans of the Navy. Reportedly, he defrauded donors of nearly $100 million in 41 states. Only a fraction of the charity fraud money has been recovered, however – when he was arrested in 2012, police found several fake IDs and a suitcase with about $980,000 inside.

Cody is, according to federal authorities, a “cold-case fugitive,” and has been wanted on multiple federal charges since 1987, starting with an accusation of embezzlement from an estate. He also appeared on an FBI “Wanted” poster for espionage at one time.

Cody originally agreed to testify in his trial, then changed his mind later. He repeatedly appeared in court with unclean hair and clothes, and a generally disheveled appearance. Once during his trial, the judge became so exasperated by his appearance that the court took a break so Cody could comb his hair.

Currently, $101,000 of Cody’s assets have been seized and donated to some Ohio veterans’ charities. The office also wants $650,871.30 for a default judgment order, with the money going to veterans charities, according to Dan Tierney, a DeWine spokesman.

Cody has been fined $6 million, in addition to his 28 years in prison for charity fraud. The Ohio Attorney General’s office originally asked for Cody, who is 67 years old, to receive 41 years in prison.

The Strom Law Firm Defends Against Federal Financial and Charity Fraud Charges

As a former U.S. Attorney, Pete Strom handled these types of criminal fraud cases, from RICO violations to financial fraud and wire fraud. If you have been charged with financial, bank, mail, wire, or charity fraud, or making false statements, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss the most effective defense to your case and how to avoid further personal and professional damage. We handle your case with utmost discretion, exploring every viable strategy to secure a most favorable outlook. 803.252.4800.

Speak Your Mind