Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Life in jail possible in navy vets fraud

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CLEVELAND -- A mysterious figure convicted of masterminding a $100-million, cross-country U.S. Navy veterans charity fraud could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The defendant, who identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson but who authorities say is actually Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, faces sentencing Monday.

The Ohio attorney general's office, which handled his trial, asked the judge for a sentence of 41 years in prison and a fine of $6.3 million.

The defence has requested a new trial.

Defence attorney Joseph Patituce said after the verdict ineffective legal representation issues stemming from limited preparation time and his client's erratic co-operation might be a basis for an appeal.

Thompson was convicted Nov. 14 of racketeering, theft, money laundering and 12 counts of identity theft. The prosecutor methodically showed jurors identification cards with the defendant's photo but different names and issued by government agencies and companies in numerous states.

The fraud occurred in 41 states, according to trial testimony, and Ohio took the lead, indicting Thompson in 2010. He disappeared for nearly two years and was arrested last year in Portland, Ore.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 16, 2013 B6

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