Cuccinelli Sits Silent as Ohio Tries Campaign Donor who Defrauded Virginians

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    From the Democratic Party of Virginia:

     

     Cuccinelli Sits Silent as Ohio Tries Campaign Donor who Defrauded Virginians


    Bobby Thompson Gave Cuccinelli $55,00, Ripped off Virginians, Faces No Consequences in the Commonwealth

     

    Richmond, VA – On Monday the trial of top Ken Cuccinelli donor and accused fraud Bobby Thompson, aka John Donald Cody, was scheduled to begin in Cuyahoga County, Ohio as the defendant faced multiple counts of theft, money laundering, corruption, and identity fraud. Thompson was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after it was revealed that his charity, “U.S. Navy Veterans Association,” had defrauded donors in Virginia, Ohio and other states who believed they were helping men and women who served our nation.

     

    The prosecution of Thompson in Ohio by two consecutive Attorneys General stands in stark contrast to Virginia where Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sat out of his office's investigation of the fraudulent charity after a separate consumer protection agency in Virginia found the organization defrauded Virginians out of at least $2 million with Thompson's fake charity scheme.

     

    “As Ohio's Attorney General brings Bobby Thompson to trial for his crimes in Ohio, Virginians are right to wonder why Ken Cuccinelli has sat on his hands for three years despite the crimes he committed here in the Commonwealth,” said DPVA Spokesman Brian Coy. “A past affiliation with Thompson didn't stop Ohio's Attorney General from pursuing this criminal aggressively, why did ours pass the buck after Virginians were defrauded?”

     

    Thompson's arrest and trial in Ohio was the product of an aggressive investigation by two consecutive Ohio attorneys general. Democrat Richard Cordray began pursuing Thompson for his crimes against Ohioans, and then handed the investigation off to his successor, former Republican U.S. Senator Mike DeWine. Dewine continued to seek Thompson despite having been one of many recipients of political donations that Thompson made to politicians around the country.

     

    The Ohioans that Thompson ripped off may be getting justice at the hands of their Republican Attorney General, but Virginians may not. Like DeWine, Ken Cuccinelli also benefited from Thompson's political contributions, to the tune of $55,000 to his 2009 campaign, but unlike DeWine, Virginia's Attorney General sat out of his own office's investigation. The status of any criminal prosecution against Bobby Thompson or US Navy Veterans Association in Virginia is unknown.

     

     

    Background:

     

    Bobby Thompson was Second Largest Individual Contributor to Cuccinelli's Campaign

    In May 2010, the Roanoke Times reported, “The donations include $55,500 to Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli's campaign, the second-largest by an individual to Cuccinelli.” [Roanoke Times, 5/16/10]

     

    Cuccinelli Refused to Return $55,000 in Campaign Contributions after Other States Launched Investigation of Bobby Thompson and US Navy Veterans Association  

    In June 2010, the Roanoke Times editorialized, “He doesn't plan to part with a dime of it unless Thompson is convicted of misappropriating charitable funds. Presumption of innocence, and all that. Which would be a passable argument for a mayor, dog catcher or even a governor — but not for an attorney general. Consider that in several other states, the investigations of Thompson and U.S. Navy Vets are being led by attorneys general.” [Roanoke Times Editorial, 6/17/10]

     

    Independent of Cuccinelli, a Virginia Consumer Services Probe found US Navy Vets Fraudulently Collected $2 Million from Virginia Residents

    In February 2011, the Roanoke Times reported, “The now defunct U.S. Navy Veterans Association raised the money over a five-year period that ended last year, when Virginia and other states launched investigations of the suspect organization, according to information gathered during a probe by the state's Office of Consumer Affairs.” [Roanoke Times, 2/22/11] 

     

    Investigation then Turned over to Office of the Attorney General

    In February 2011, the Roanoke Times reported, “The case was turned over Monday to the office of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who last year forfeited more than $55,000 in campaign contributions that he received in 2009 from the self-described director of U.S. Navy Vets.” [Roanoke Times, 2/22/11]

     

    Cuccinelli “Walled Off” from Thompson Investigation

    In August 2011, the Roanoke Times reported, “Cuccinelli said he chose to be 'walled off' from a probe of the U.S. Navy Veterans Association because he received $55,500 in campaign contributions in 2009 from a man who acted as the charity's director and is now a fugitive facing criminal charges. The mysterious figure used the stolen identity of Bobby Thompson.” [Roanoke Times, 8/04/11]

     

    Cuccinelli: Case “Not Even Discussed with Me”

    He said, “It is not even discussed with me. I know that it's not laying dormant; but, also, nobody's found Bobby Thompson.” [Roanoke Times, 8/04/11]

     

    Ohio AG Investigation Led to Conviction of US Navy Vets Treasurer Blanca Contreras  

    In June 2011, the Roanoke Times reported, “Blanca Contreras — one of the few real people to emerge from the stealthlike U.S. Navy Veterans Association — pleaded guilty to corruption, theft, money laundering and record tampering.  It was the first conviction to come from multiple investigations launched last year after questions emerged about the whereabouts of the U.S. Navy Vet's directors, its offices and the money it collected.” [Roanoke Times, 6/23/11]

     

    Democratic and Republican Attorneys General in Ohio Prosecuted US Navy Vets Treasurer

    In August 2011, WCPO reported, “Ohio's attorney general's office says some of that money ended up as donations to mostly conservative Republican candidates including then-U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine. Now he's Ohio's Attorney General. His office continued the work begun under his predecessor Richard Cordray and prosecuted Contreras on charges of theft, money laundering, tampering with records and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. She pleaded guilty June 22.” [WCPO, 8/10/11]

     

    Bobby Thompson Identified as John Donald Cody

    In October 2012, NBC News reported, “On Monday, federal authorities revealed that Thompson is really John Donald Cody, 65, a 1972 Harvard Law School graduate and Army veteran the FBI had long sought on numerous fraud charges related to a 1987 espionage probe.” [NBC News, 10/1/12]

     

    Thompson Now Jailed in Ohio Charged with 22 Counts of Theft, Money Laundering, Tampering with Records, Corruption

    In October 2012, NBC News reported, “Thompson is now jailed in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, charged with 22 counts of theft, money laundering, tampering with records, engaging in corrupt activity and other charges. He ran the national charity out of Tampa, Fla., with fake officers and state chapters and opened up numerous bank accounts and rented mailboxes to pull of the scheme, according to Ohio authorities.” [NBC News, 10/1/12]

     

    US Marshal Identified Thompson as Cody after Ohio Authorities Arrested Him

    In October 2012, NBC News reported, “U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott, head of the task force that found Thompson, said on Monday that he was doing Google searches for fugitives recently when landed on an old FBI wanted poster for Cody. Elliot noticed the man's resemblance to the suspect marshals had nabbed in the Ohio fraud case.” [NBC News, 10/1/12]

     

    Bobby Thompson Trial Scheduled to Begin March 11, 2013

     

    According to the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts, the trial of The State of Ohio vs. Bobby Thompson was scheduled to begin on March 11, 2013 at 9:30am at the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District. He faces multiple charges of identity fraud, money laundering, and tampering with records. [Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts, accessed 3/11/13