Ohio opens case in $100M charity fraud case
Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Lawyers for the state of Ohio have detailed for jurors their case against a man charged with masterminding a $100 million multistate fraud under the guise of helping Navy veterans.
Both sides made opening statements Monday in the trial of the 67-year-old defendant who calls himself Bobby Thompson. Authorities identified him as Harvard-trained lawyer and former military intelligence officer John Donald Cody.
Assistant Ohio Attorney Brad Tommario called the defendant a thief who cannot tell the truth and said he had siphoned nearly $3 million from Ohio donors.
Defense attorney Joseph Patituce used a white board to detail the defendant's charity work, which it has defended as legal.
The defendant is charged with defrauding donors to a reputed charity, the United States Navy Veterans Association based in Tampa, Fla.