Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Veterans' Charity Scammer Caught in Oregon

Washington Park in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon, from Washington Park

Nice view and hint to other photographers of Portland you might want to take pictures that don't make this city look almost exactly like Cleveland

Photo shared using Flicker's native coding and allowed via Creative Commons License Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) Thanks to "Travel Portland" which has no connection to this blog or blogger.  Click on picture to go to original "Flickr site.

A man who setup a charity scam that was supposed to be providing money to Navy Vets has been apprehended in Oregon. Ohio has been looking for the man, who also stole the identity of a Washington man of Native American descent for nearly two years now, claiming he took 2 million dollars from people of the rust belt state though mostly through small donations. The scam's purveyor made donations to political candidates, mostly Republican, though there doesn't seem to be evidence that the candidates knew about the illegal basis for those donations. The amounts donated were large enough that various candidates took pictures with him. I saw on the video fom ABC, not only George W. Bush and John McCain mentioned in one of the reports ", but also Rudi Guiliani standing with "Thompson who also used the identity of a New Mexico man who ran a veterans group, one Ronnie Brittain for an Indiana driver's license.

 According to MSNBC News:
He is accused in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, of 22 counts of theft, money laundering, tampering with records, engaging in corrupt activity and other charges. An associate of Thompson’s, Blanca Contreras, of Tampa, Fla., was sentenced to five years in prison in August, 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Florida also was investigating "Thompson" who had been working the scam since 2001 in their state until he disappeared in  2010.

The fugitive was caught in Portland while renting a room, there.  He still has not offered an verified identity according to reports.

Oregon live reports that the scam netted at least $100 million, little of which ever went to veterans.  Thompson himself had a backpack full of money and was able pay $600 a month for rent on his room.

Read reports linked above for complete details.