$100m scam suspect in Ohio is Harvard Law grad

John Donald Cody had been sought since 1987.
John Donald Cody had been sought since 1987.

CLEVELAND — A former fugitive suspected of running a $100 million cross-country scam purporting to collect donations for Navy veterans has been identified as a Harvard-trained lawyer wanted on unrelated fraud charges since 1987, authorities said Monday.

US Marshal Pete Elliott said the man who identified himself as Bobby Thompson and signed legal papers as ‘‘Mr. X’’ is really John Donald Cody.

The 65-year-old Cody’s true identity was uncovered through fingerprints in a 1969 military database separate from the national crime system.


Earlier checks of the criminal fingerprint database turned up nothing on Thompson’s true identity.

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

A four-count indictment filed in 1987 in Alexandria, Va., charged Cody with looting the estates of two women by making off with $99,000 in travelers checks purchased in Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Associated Press