Ohio witness: Suspect in $100M fraud ducked audits


CLEVELAND — A fundraiser is testifying that a man who ran a charity suspected to be part of a $100 million fraud limited donations in some states to avoid audits.

The defendant at the Cleveland trial identifies himself as Bobby Thompson. Authorities say he is a 67-year-old Harvard-trained attorney and former military intelligence officer named John Donald Cody. He ran a charity called the United States Navy Veterans Association of Tampa, Fla.

Telemarketing executive Mark Gelvan of Montville, N.J., testified today. He says Thompson set state-by-state fundraising limits for the work that Gelvan’s firm did for the charity. The aim was to avoid triggering audits.

Defense lawyers attacked Gelvan’s reliability by challenging the accuracy of fundraising reports to state regulators.

Thompson was indicted in 2010 and arrested last year in Portland, Ore.