Fugitive Convicted of Stealing $100 mil from US Navy Veterans Association

Screenshot from a CBS News video on October 2

Screenshot from a CBS News video on October 2

Ex-fugitive, 67-year-old “Bobby Thompson” whose real name according to authorities is John Donald Cody, was found guilty of theft, money laundering and 21 other charges last Thursday, November 14th. The defendant was originally going to testify, however he changed his mind and the jury heard nothing from him. Thomson wanted to share his story with the court but his attorney Joseph Patituce recommended otherwise, apparently in fear of his mental state if the prosecutors had put him under harsh cross examination.

Cody was originally charged with stealing from the United States Navy Veterans Association which he ran in Tampa, Florida.  The huge amounts of money involved show the generosity of people toward Veterans, but and also greed on a scale that people normally associate with Wall Street.

Near the end of his five week trial he appeared quite unkempt.  It was noted by his attorney during a break in the trial that Cody had been found banging his head against the wall in his holding cell causing himself to bleed. He was checked by the jail medical staff afterwards. It is possible that Cody was trying to form some basis for the appeal of his case, by trying to appear crazy; it is also possible he has a legitimate mental illness, or simply a sense of desperation at the very real possibility of never leaving a jail or prison again in his lifetime. Thomson faces up to a 67-year sentence.

“Authorities said they traced the name Bobby Thompson to a man who wasn’t connected to the charity case and had his identity stolen, including his Social Security number and date of birth,” says Thomas Sheeran of the Associated Press.

According to Sheeran’s report, “The defendant rolled his eyes toward the ceiling and rocked on his feet as the verdicts were read. Deputies cuffed his wrists after the first guilty verdict was announced. Unlike the last two days of his trial, the defendant showed up with his shirt buttoned and his hair combed.”

Cody is believed to have duped donors in 41 different states of up to 100 million dollars. Thomson had  with him 980,000 dollars in cash along with multiple fake IDs when arrested. The cash found on him was all that was recovered out of the nearly 100 million dollars that went missing. Where did the remaining 99 million dollars go? Authorities do not seem to know, and have not recovered any of it so far.