Photo courtesy of Harvard Law School 1972 Yearbook 

Cody created the U.S. Navy Veterans Association in the late 1990s. The greatest scam of American veterans started with a phone line and a phony script. “Our troops don’t wait to do their part. Please do not wait any longer to do yours….Please send in your pledge today.” 

One of the Largest Scams of U.S. Veterans Started

By an Army Veteran Who Had a Lifetime of Promise

John Donald Cody

  • born 8/3/1947 in Hoboken, N.J.
  • University of Virginia Graduate 1969
  • Harvard Law School Graduate 1972
  • U.S. Army Intelligence Officer 1969-1985 (served Active Duty from 1972-1977)

Gaining Political Influence

Defrauding Clients

while serving in the Army Reserves, Cody had a law practice in Sierra Vista, Ariz.  He raided an estate of a local deceased couple before disappearing in 1984. 

Location of Cody's former office in Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Background on the Scams & John Donald Cody

Life on the Lam

Cody would be wanted by the U.S. Marshals for fraud and bY he IRS for filing fake tax returns in the late 1980s. BY 2004, the list of agencies wanting Cody in custody grew to include the FBI, who wanted Cody for questioning in An espionage Investigation.

A Scam Begins Late 1990s

"Bobby Thompson, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association and various members began giving political donations giving them access to some of the nation's highest ranking politicians including President George W. Bush.  It was later shown that many donations were actually given by Cody.

Busted 

U.S. Marshals tracked Thompson to Portland, Ore., where he was renting a room under another alias. Marshals found Cody had stashed close to $1 million in a nearby storage unit and had numerous fake identities on him. He was convicted in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court for identity theft and other crimes and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

FBI Wanted Poster of Cody circa 2004

Logo of the U.S. Navy Veterans Association Source: Court records from Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts

Pictures from L to R: Bobby Thompson with Speaker of the House John Boehner, Thompson and Rudy Giuliani during his 2008 presidential bid, Thompson with Grace Glatstein and U.S. President George W. Bush, Thompson with Republican Political Consultant Karl Rove. Source Ohio Attorney General's Office 2010 

Did He Work Alone? 

Source: Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Boldin

Pictures from the criminal case file against Bobby Thompson, A.K.A. John Donald Cody

"Bobby Thompson, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association and various members began giving political donations giving them access to some of the nation's highest ranking politicians including President George W. Bush.  It was later shown that many donations were actually given by Cody.