Here’s some good news. “Bobby Thompson” ran the phony “veterans charity” that donated several thousand dollars to Virginia Republicans, including Cooch. When his fraud was revealed, all those who received donations from him returned the money immediately . . . except Cooch who took several months to decide to give the money back.
Let’s not forget that Mark Obenshain supported Cooch in his attempt to squelch the investigation into “Thompson” and his phony charity.
CLEVELAND — A determined fundraiser who rubbed elbows with powerful politicians while masterminding a $100 million, cross-country Navy veterans charity fraud could face the rest of his life in prison.
The defendant, who identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson but who authorities say is Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
The Ohio attorney general’s office, which handled his trial, asked the judge in a filing last week to sentence him to 41 years in prison. In addition, the prosecution recommended a $6.3 million fine.
Only a fraction of the $100 million was found. When he was arrested, authorities found fake IDs and a suitcase with $980,000 in cash.
Let’s review the facts of this case — below the fold.
1. “Bobby Thompson” headed a charity, the “U.S. Navy Veterans Association.” The organization was a fraud, with most of the money collected going to “Thompson.”
2. About the time Cooch was preparing his run for Attorney General, the VA Office of Consumer Affairs opened an investigation into the “charity.”
The Office of Consumer Affairs is part of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This department falls under the jurisdiction of the secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, who reports directly to the governor. The Office of Consumer Affairs is not part of the Office of the Attorney General.
Four days after Thompson gave $5,000 to Cooch’s campaign for attorney general, Cooch publicly announced he would attempt to consolidate the responsibilities of the Office of Consumer Affairs under the Office of the Attorney General should he be elected.
He later held a news conference to make the same pronouncement, less than three weeks after accepting another $50,000 from Thompson.
3. Five months after “Thompson’s” $50,000 donation to Cooch’s campaign, Senator Mark Obenshain introduced SB 388 to move this investigative responsibility to the AG’s office.
4. Two successive Ohio attorneys general investigated “Thompson,” leading to the recent trial. When news of the fraud hit Virginia, state politicians who had received donations from “Thompson” gave the money to real vets’ charities . . . except Cooch.
Cooch argued that, because “Thompson” had not been convicted of anything, there was no reason to rid himself of the “Thompson” money. Finally, after a lot of publicity, Cooch gave the $55,000 to real charities.
VA Democrats website has a good layout of the case:
Not Larry Sabato has a good timeline of this episode:
Let’s hope this week’s recount keeps another crook out of the AG’s office.