Why Did Bobby Thompson Give Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 55,000 Dollars?
Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (above) is investigating the climate scientist Michael Mann for fraud.
"Lt. Commander Bobby Thompson, Navy Reserves, retired," (above) the vanished head of a bogus, Florida-based charity with mystery donors, gave Attorney General Cuccinelli 55,000 dollars; but where did Bobby get all that money, and why did he give it to A.G. Cuccinelli?
The St. Petersburg Times has been investigating an apparently bogus Florida-based charity called The U.S. Navy Veterans Association and has published a series of reports that are collected and updated on a page titled U.S. Navy Veterans Association: Under the radar.
Although the charity claims that it has 85 officials, annual income of $22 million dollars, and tens of thousands of members, an investigation by The St. Petersburg Times has turned up only a 2500-page website and one official--Director and CFO Bobby Thompson, a person who does not even have a Florida driver's license. The whole strange affair reminds me of Dorothy outing the Wizard of Oz.
The St. Petersburg Times (3-21-10) observes:
Archivists [at the Military Personnel Records Center in St. Louis] could find no record that Thompson was on active duty. The record section reported that it had also checked with the FBI, "but this agency was not able to furnish any data indicating the veteran served in the U.S. Armed Services."
Advised that the Times and the POW Network could find no trace of Thompson's military background, the Navy Veterans answered via e-mail through Mac Murray: "Mr. Thompson joined the Navy under age," and it's doubtful the newspaper could find his military records because "not only did you not have the numeric identifiers, you did not have the nominative ones either."
The association declined to help verify Thompson's military background but said it "is confident that Thompson did not lie about his service or rank to anyone.''
The roster at the U.S. Navy Veterans Association's Washington headquarters includes CEO Jack L. Nimitz, which suggests that the organization might be associated with the famous Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander of Allied forces in the Pacific during World War II.
The St Petersburg Times (3-21-10) observes:
The Navy Veterans Web site quotes Jack L. Nimitz, the association's CEO since inception, saying he "does not like to pull rank … has a lack of admiration for those who do on the officers' boards of other veterans' organizations.'' In the posted photo he's posed in a navy blue blazer and tie, and his bio says he's a lifelong Texas resident, retired naval reservist and now private investment banker.
The Times searched for Nimitz for six months but could not find him or 83 other executives and state officers whose names appear on tax forms filed with the IRS. The newspaper searched directories and online public records databases, including property records, court records and voter registration records.
The Times also searched LexisNexis, an online full-text database of news and periodical articles and broadcast news transcripts. Nimitz, the head of a nonprofit that boasts 66,000 members and millions in annual revenue, was never profiled or quoted.
Through the association's general counsel, the Times asked to speak to Nimitz, if for no other reason than to demonstrate that he exists. He was never made available to talk, by phone or in person.
The association lists its national headquarters at 1718 M Street NW, Suite 275, which is rented mailbox number 275 at a UPS shipping store.
The charity seems to keep almost all the money that is donated for its expenses, although Bobby Thompson lives in a run-down Ybor City (Tampa) duplex. After the St. Petersburg Times started asking questions, Thompson moved out of his duplex and left no forwarding address.
But there is another problem that is even stranger than a bogus charity that keeps most of its donations for "expenses": in at least one case, a donation to a politician was made by appropriating the identity of a different Bobby Thompson who was falsely identified as the director of the charity:
The St. Petersburg Times (7-15-10) reports:
In 2006, Ohio politician Betty Montgomery reported a $500 contribution to her 2006 campaign for attorney general from U.S. Navy Veterans director Bobby C. Thompson. His address was listed at 934 Smiley Ave., Cincinnati.
A Bobby Thompson did live there, just not Bobby C. Thompson. It was Bobby no-middle-initial Thompson, a 67-year-old retired metalworker who says he lived in that Smiley Avenue house with his wife, Ernestine, during all of 2006, but he never wrote a campaign check to anyone.
"I ain't never been in the Army, ain't never been in the Navy, ain't never been in the Air Force, ain't never been in the Marines, and I don't make contributions,'' he said. "And I have a problem with this."
Now Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has taken notice of the questionable campaign check as his office continues its investigation into the Navy Veterans group and its founder, Bobby C. Thompson.
Calling the group "illegitimate from the get-go,'' Cordray has shut down the Navy Veterans nonprofit in Ohio and has asked a judge to freeze its bank accounts. He said there is little evidence that the $1.9 million the group reported getting from Ohio residents since 2003 was used to help veterans.
Montgomery was Ohio Attorney General from 1995 to 2003 and was running for that office again in 2006 when her campaign reported Bobby C. Thompson's $500 check.
She lost that election and now works at Mac Murray, Petersen & Shuster, the law firm that represented the Navy Veterans until this week. Helen Mac Murray had been general counsel for the Navy Veterans since last June. While Montgomery was attorney general, Mac Murray was chief of Montgomery's Consumer Protection section.
Neither Montgomery nor Mac Murray responded to requests for comment.
Montgomery didn't get much in campaign donations ($500), but her law firm has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees from Bobby Thompson's suspicious charity.
The St. Petersburg Times (7-15-10) reports:
As income for the Navy Veterans rose, so did the fees the charity paid its lawyers. In 2007, the group reported legal fees of nearly $62,000. Last year, it was more than $753,000.
The Navy Veterans said its general counsel, Helen Mac Murray, did more than $36,099 of work by Dec. 1 just to handle questions from the Times. That was before any news story was published and before any state took regulatory or court action against the Navy Veterans.
Mac Murray's firm, composed of former officials of the Ohio Attorney General's Office, appeared suited to provide legal guidance to charities like the Navy Veterans. Mac Murray was formerly the chief of consumer protection for Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery, who is now a member of the Mac Murray firm.
The firm's website advertises its expertise, offering the "Charitable Fundraising Regulatory Guide" for $899 ($1,099 for non-clients), touted as "a must-have for any company that engages in charitable fundraising."
Now Ohio Attorney General Cordray says the group Mac Murray represented was "an elaborate hoax" that fleeced consumers.
His office has ordered the Navy Veterans to cease fundraising and continues to seek court orders to prevent the Navy Veterans from taking Ohioans' money.
Since Bobby Thompson send money to politicians, Attorney Generals, and law firms who represent charities, citizens should know who is using the identities of other people to donate money to politicians such as Ohio's former Attorney General Betty Montgomery and Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli, who has received what seems to be Bobby Thompson's largest contribution---55,000 dollars---in 2009, says he is keeping the money unless Bobby Thompson is convicted of a crime. Other politicians, who recognize what a dubious operation Bobby Thompson is running, have turned his donations over to legitimate charities.
According to the St. Petersburg Times (6-13-10):
To prove that it sends care packages to American troops overseas, the association posts soldiers' thank-you letters on its website. But at least some of those thank-you notes were copied from the website of another organization and were altered to appear as though they were written to the Navy Veterans Association.
Read the incredible series of reports from The St. Petersburg Times collected on a page titled U.S. Navy Veterans Association: Under the radar.
I wonder where the money that Bobby Thompson is donating to Attorney General Cuccinelli came from. For all we know, some fossil fuel entity is funneling money to Cuccinelli because Virginia's Attorney General is persecuting scientists who support global warming; but I am only speculating.
Cuccinelli wants to investigate the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann for financial fraud, but the Attorney General doesn't seem curous about how the so-called "Lt. Commander Bobby Thompson, Navy Reserves, retired," the Director and CFO of a shady charity, managed to give him 55,000 dollars before vanishing from his run-down Ybor City Duplex.
Who gave "Lt.Commander Bobby Thompson" the money he donated to Attorney Cuccinelli's campaign?