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Courts and Crime

Veterans charity scammer Thompson sentenced to Ohio prison for 28 years
Authorities say John Cody, AKA Bobby Thompson, may have millions more dollars hidden

Mark Urycki
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine say people should check charities carefully before donating.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
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A Cuyahoga County judge has sentenced a man to 28 years in prison and ordered him to spend every Veterans Day in solitary confinement.  WKSU' Mark Urycki reports John Donald Cody was sentenced for running a fake charity for military veterans.

Details on the sentence

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John Cody went by “Bobby Thompson” and 30 other aliases.  He lived in at least five states and raised millions of dollars in Ohio and 40 others states for a fake charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. U.S. marshals tracked him down in Portland, Oregon, where they also found nearly a million dollars in a suitcase. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWinE: “My first thought after hearing about that is ‘How many more suitcases are there?’”

Judge Steven Gall levied a fine of more than $6 million against Cody.  DeWine says the con-man raised two million dollars in Ohio and tens of millions in other states, largely from donations of just $10 to $40. The court ordered $331,000 to go to the Ohio Attorney General’s office to pay its expenses but Dewine refused it, saying that money was intended for veterans. He also found a teachable moment in this case.

“Cody is not the only con-artist who’s exploited the name of veterans for his own personal gain.“

DeWine says his office has actions against five other veterans charities in Ohio this year alone. He urged Ohioans to ask questions and check with the A-G’s office before donating money. 

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