US: $100M scam suspect in Ohio is Harvard Law grad

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Associated Press

Posted on October 1, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 1 at 12:02 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — Federal authorities in Ohio say a former fugitive suspected of running a $100 million cross-country scam collecting donations for Navy veterans is actually a Harvard-trained attorney.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott in Cleveland said Monday that the man who identified himself as Bobby Thompson is really 65-year-old John Donald Cody.

He has been wanted on unrelated fraud charges since 1987. His true identity was uncovered through 1969 military fingerprints that didn't make it into the national crime system.

He is jailed awaiting trial on charges of defrauding donors in 41 states of up to $100 million through a bogus Florida-based charity.

He was arrested in Portland, Ore., in May and has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Joseph Patituce (PAT'-eh-toos), says Ohio has a weak case against his client.

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