Defendant in Ohio fraud case fighting charges

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former fugitive suspected of running a $100 million cross-country scam collecting donations for Navy veterans is mounting a vigorous defense on his own behalf in Ohio.

The Harvard-trained defendant facing trial in Cleveland identifies himself as Bobby Thompson but authorities say he’s really 65-year-old John Donald Cody. He is defending himself on the fraud charges and has filed scores of motions challenging his prosecution.

The case was scheduled for trial April 29, but last week a judge pushed the date back to Sept. 30 as the defendant fights for a dismissal.

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

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