$100M Veterans Charity Scam Involved 'Catch Me If You Can' Wanna-Be

A former member of the U.S. Army’s military intelligence unit was given a 28 year prison sentence on Monday for operating a bogus military charity scamming donors up to $US100 million, reports ABC News.

John Donald Cody, who identified himself as 67 year old U.S. Navy Commander Bobby Thompson, ran the United States Navy Veterans Association headquarter in Tampa, Florida.

Thompson disappeared for two years after Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Testerman unmasked the so-called Navy vet.

Thompson, a Harvard-trained lawyer was arrested last year in Portland, Oregon with multiple fake IDs and $US980,000 cash stashed in a suitcase. After his arrest, Thompson refused to confirm his real name as John Cody, and signed his name as “Mr. X” on court papers.

Campaign finance filings show Thompson showered Republican politicians like Mitt Romney, John McCain, and former 43rd President George Bush with generous donations. Federal authorities have been searching for Thompson since 1987 for embezzlement charges.

When addressing the court, Thompson maintained that he has been misidentified and offered no apology, reports ABC News.

Thompson’s appearance during the final days of his trial was sloppy, appearing in court with an unbuttoned shirt exposing most of his chest and stomach. The judge ordered that he be “dressed, groomed and showered” by 8 a.m. on trial days.

During his sentencing, Thompson said that he experienced abuse from jailers while incarcerated. Jailers said he bloodied his forehead smashing it against a holding cell wall, reports AP.

Thompson was also ordered to pay a $US6 million fine.

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