In May, the Ohio Attorney General's Office’s Charitable Law section won a default judgment for $3.7 million, plus attorney fees from the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. Assistant Attorney General Dionne DeNunzio proved the organization had falsely claimed to raise money for U.S. veterans’ causes; in reality, very little money ever went to help veterans. The U.S. Navy Veterans Association is believed to have collected more than $100 million nationwide since its formation in 2001. Several state attorneys general conducted investigations, but Ohio took the lead in prosecution.
The accused mastermind behind the plot, Bobby Thompson, has been on the lam since June 2010 and remains at large. However, he uses a stolen identity; his true identity has yet to be determined.
In addition to the default judgment, Thompson’s alleged accomplice, Blanca Contreras, also pled guilty on June 22, 2011, to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, complicity to theft, complicity to money laundering, and tampering with records. The prosecution was lead by the Organization Crime Investigations Commission of the Ohio Attorney General's Office. She is expected to be sentenced later this year.