Ohio Jury Finds Mystery Man Guilty of $100 Million Charity Fraud Case

Jury Finds Man Guilty of $100 Million Navy Charity Fraud Case Out of Florida

Charity FraudOn Thursday, November 14th, an Ohio jury found a man guilty of charity fraud to the tune of $100 million, based on a business he set up in Florida to raise funds for Navy veterans.

The man is referred to in much of the trial as “Mr. X,” because of some confusion about his name. He 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, and money laundering.

He was indicted in Florida on charges of charity fraud in 2010, but 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.

Records show that Cody donated huge sums of money to politicians, many of them Republican. The judge in Cody’s case rejected a defense request to subpoena testimony from Republican politicians in Ohio, including Speaker of the House John Boehner.

The 66-year-old Cody faces at least 10 years in prison, with the possibility of as many as 80 years. His sentencing is expected to take place next month.

Defense Rarely Spoke During Charity Fraud Trial

During the course of the trial, the jury heard nothing from the former fugitive – his defense attorney even waived his right to closing statements. Cody’s attorney said that the man did not testify due to his fragile mental state – he could have a break-down if examined by aggressive prosecutors, defense attorney Joseph Patituce said.

The defendant often appeared to be close to mental collapse during the course of the trial, with clothes and hair dirty and askew. At one point on Tuesday, he was so disheveled that the judge suggested a break for Cody to comb his hair and get a clean shirt.

At one point during the trial, Patituce noted that his client had bloodied himself while pounding his head against the wall of his holding cell. The judge said the defendant had been checked and cleared by the jail’s medical staff.

Despite his appearance, neither Cody nor Patituce attempted to plead insanity during the charity fraud case.

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.

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