FILE - In this May 8, 2012 file photo, Bobby Thompson appears at a hearing in Cuyahoga County Court in Cleveland. Thompson, a one-time fugitive is headed to trial on charges of masterminding a $100 million multistate fraud on the guise of helping Navy veterans. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)
CLEVELAND (CBS/AP) - John Donald Cody, a one-time fugitive who calls himself
Bobby Thompson, is headed to trial Monday on charges of masterminding a
$100 million multi-state fraud under the guise of helping Navy veterans.
a 67-year-old Harvard-trained lawyer and former military intelligence
officer, was arrested last year in Portland, Ore., after two years on
He's charged with defrauding people who donated to a
reputed charity for Navy veterans, the United States Navy Veterans
Association based in Tampa, Florida.
The alleged fraud spanned 41
states, including up to $2 million in Ohio. Authorities said little, if
any, of the money collected by the charity was used to benefit veterans.
defendant showered politicians, many of them Republicans, with
political donations. His defense team had sought to force testimony by
recipients to show his actions were legal, but a judge rejected the move
His attorney said any fraud involved solicitors, not his client.
Authorities said the defendant used his VIP political connections to encourage donors to give to his charity.
on the run, investigators tracked him through Arizona, Florida,
Indiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington and West Virginia.