Ohio grand jury indicts U.S. Navy Veterans Association director
Have you seen this man? No, the one on the left. (Photos courtesy of Ohio Attorney General's Office)
An Ohio grand jury has indicted a man who donated to Virginia political campaigns last year under the name "Bobby Thompson" on felony charges of money laundering, theft and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
The grand jury also indicted Blanca Contreras, who helped the man run the allegedly fraudulent charity the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. Airport police Friday arrested Contreras at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, authorities reported.
The indictments allege the Thompson stole more than $1 million from Ohio residents who intended their donations to help veterans.
Virginia is one of nine states that have opened investigations into the charity on suspicions that it filed false documentation with state officials and may have stolen charitable contributions.
Ohio Attorney Gen. Richard Cordray has alleged that the charity's director stole the identity of a real man named Bobby Thompson.
Under that name, he gave more than $55,000 to Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) during last year's campaign, making him Cuccinelli's second-largest individual donor.
Authorities do not know the real name of the man, who had been living in Florida but has been at large since shortly after the St. Petersburg Times published the results of a six-month long investigation into his charity's activities in the spring.
The man also made donations to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), House Speaker William Howell (R-Stafford) and state Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria), among others. Cuccinelli, McDonnell, Howell and Ticer donated the man's political contributions to veteran's charities in Virginia.
Cordray's office Friday said they believe they've tracked down yet another identity the man had been using. His picture appears on an Indiana state ID that includes personal information belonging to New Mexico resident Ronnie D. Brittain. The real Brittain is treasurer of a chapter of the Disabled American Veterans and was also a victim of identity theft by the man, authorities allege.
Cordray today released new photos of the man, who was active in Republican political circles, in hopes of figuring out who he really is.
Two feature the man standing with former President Bush. In another, he is standing with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife Cindy. Others show him with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, House minority leader John Boehner -- in line to become Speaker of the House should Republicans retake Congress in November -- and Rep. Adam Putnam, another member of House Republican leadership.
Ohio authorities have tied 10 separate political contributions to fictitious names and various UPS post office boxes rented by the man who was known as Bobby Thompson. They include donations to Giuliani's presidential campaign and to Florida Attorney Gen. Bill McCollum.
| October 15, 2010; 4:11 PM ET
Categories: John McCain, Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman
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