A 67-year-old Harvard-trained lawyer and former military intelligence officer, John Donald Cody, is on trial in Cleveland after masterminding a $100 million multi-state fraud scheme. Cody was in court this Monday after two years on the run. He is charged with defrauding people who donated to the reputed United States Navy Veterans Association, based in
During his scheme, Cody used his many political connections to encourage donations to the charity. However, according to authorities, little to none of the money collected by Cody was actually used to aid Navy Veterans. In fact, most of the money collected went to republican politicians, including Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and former President George W. Bush.
Joseph Patituce, Cody’s defense attorney, hinted at a defense strategy focused on CIA and government secrets involving a secretive operation decades ago in Arizona. Brad Tammaro, an assistant attorney general who is handling the trial, said that even if “by some fantasy” there was government involvement, it did not vindicate the defendant of his actions.
People ask all the time to which veteran charities they should donate. I tell them to be careful. You have to know the person asking and the work being done.
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