Monday, February 20, 2012

This a Fascinating Update on A Charity Fraud Master

by Gary Snyder

Staff writers at the Tampa Bay Times have spent an inordinate amount of time putting together a fascinating article on one of the notorious charity criminals on record.

Readers of Nonprofit Imperative will remember ‘Bobby Thompson’ as the head of U.S. Navy Veterans Association until the charity collapsed under scrutiny in mid 2010. He is now a fugitive, wanted by federal officials on charges of money laundering, fraud and identity theft. “Bobby Charles Thompson” ran the bogus nationwide non-profit group while collecting over $20 million and lavishly giving that money to politicians that gave him direct access to some of the leading politicians in America, including the president of the United States.

This is another interesting case where the press uncovered the crime. Charity regulators were absent, but they are now all over the country trying to capture of Thompson. Thompson disappeared after, the then, St. Petersburg Times questioned him about some political donations and began publishing an investigative series. Shortly thereafter Ohio brought charges against him where authorities say he donated nearly $300,000 to political causes. Authorities know that ‘Bobby Charles Thompson’ is not his real name.
They are still clueless as to where he is and exactly where all the money went. It is astounding that this person could get as close to the president and other elected officials without security clearance. (link)

Through his aliases he stumped the Internal Revenue Service, several charity regulators and thousands of contributors. He stole other names as he needed them. As the Times article notes, of his seven known aliases, four were stolen from people who either lived or worked on Indian reservations. Among the aliases assumed by the Tampa man was a policeman who died in 1999. Elmer L. Dosier's children told the Times they were completely unaware their father's name and Social Security number had been used — after his death — to get an Indiana driver's license. The photo on the license: the founder of Navy Veterans.
Four other men whose identities were stolen also told the Times they were clueless about the theft until told by investigators. None of the men recognized photos of the man who misused their identities. They could not imagine any way their paths had crossed the fugitive's or even each other's. They hadn't attended the same schools, been in the same military units or belonged to the same clubs. And none of those interviewed by the Times said they ever donated to Navy Veterans. The Navy Veterans founder stole his primary persona from a Choctaw Indian born 65 years ago in Mississippi. Though the fugitive claimed to be 1/16 Choctaw, people who know the real Bobby Thompson say he looked nothing like his alter ego.
This may or not be its signature story, but the Times has done an admirable job in keeping its readers up on the latest sightings of Thompson and the latest mishaps of the regulators.
Just great investigative work!

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, ,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)Tampa Bay Times
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