$100M Navy charity fraud trial starts in Ohio

By Thomas J. Sheeran

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

The man who calls himself Bobby Thompson, right, talks with defense attorney Joseph Patituce during opening arguments in court in Cleveland Monday, Oct. 7, 2013.

Mark Duncan, Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The former legal adviser to a charity at the center of an alleged $100 million fraud tells a jury that the founder resisted efforts to identify anyone else involved with the organization.

Helen Mac Murray returned to the witness stand Tuesday at the Cleveland trial of the founder. He calls himself Bobby Thompson but has been identified by authorities as Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody.

Mac Murray says he repeatedly turned aside any attempt she made to meet board members, saying it was unnecessary. She says she tried to meet them as a newspaper reporter and a fundraising contractor began looking into the charity based in Tampa, Fla., called the United States Navy Veterans Association.

The defendant says his charity work was legal and followed federal tax rules.

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