Ohio jury convicts ex-fugitive in $100M fraud case

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Associated Press

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 10:36 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) — A jury in Cleveland has convicted the mysterious defendant in a $100 million, cross-country veterans charity fraud case.

The jury that issued its verdict Thursday didn't hear from the ex-fugitive, who decided against testifying. His attorney said he wanted to tell his story but worried about his mental state if he faced aggressive cross-examination by prosecutors.

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

He was charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association, a charity he ran in Tampa, Fla. He was indicted in 2010, disappeared for nearly two years and was arrested last year in Portland, Ore.

Authorities believe he defrauded donors of up to $100 million in 41 states. A fraction of that money was found.

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