Ohio says it proved $100M charity fraud at trial


CLEVELAND — An Ohio prosecutor is asking jurors to convict a man charged with masterminding a $100 million, cross-country veterans charity fraud.

Prosecutor Brad Tammaro told a Cleveland jury in a closing argument today that the state has proved the 24 charges against the defendant.

The defendant identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson, but authorities say he is Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody.

Tammaro says the charges stem from a 2003 charity registration with the state of Ohio and annual renewals.

The defendant is charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association that he ran in Tampa, Fla. The charges include racketeering, money laundering, theft and identity theft.

Authorities believe he defrauded donors of up to $100 million in 41 states since 2001, including $2 million in Ohio.