Ohio AG Downplaying Political Donations from Navy Scammer

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The Ohio attorney general’s case against a man accused of fraud after collecting $100 million in the name of Navy veterans doesn’t address the man’s donations to Republican politicians, including the attorney general himself.

The donations tied to the man who calls himself Bobby Thompson, and to the United States Navy Veterans Association, his Tampa-based “charity,” are “a sidebar to the scam,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

Investigating the political side of Thompson’s case is “pretty basic due diligence,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that tracks the use of political donations.

“Here’s really serious fraud and potential corruption,” she said. “Who knows what could surface in an investigation, but you wonder with somebody who is willing to break the rules so egregiously whether he had help and whether he had elicited any promises in exchange for his support.”

Thompson — whom authorities have identified as Harvard-trained lawyer and former military intelligence officer John Donald Cody — sits in a Cleveland jail awaiting trial. DeWine dubbed this case “one of the highest-profile cases in the history of the Ohio Attorney General‘s Office.”

Nowhere does DeWine mention that hundreds of thousands of dollars in Thompson’s cash was donated to more than fifty mostly Republican candidates in sixteen states. Among the many beneficiaries were George W. Bush; presidential contenders Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani; and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

When they learned of allegations against Thompson, many recipients passed the contributions on to charities.

Thompson disappeared for almost two years after his 2010 indictment on theft, money laundering and other charges. He was tracked and dramatically arrested last year in Portland, where agents and deputy marshals found him with fake IDs and a suitcase containing $980,000 in cash.

Via ABC.


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