Fugitive wanted since '87 caught in Portland

Fugitive wanted since '87 caught in Portland

Fugitive wanted since '87 caught in Portland

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by Associated Press and KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 2 at 12:02 PM

CLEVELAND — A man on the FBI's Most Wanted list since the 1980s was arrested in Portland, and U.S. Marshals said eye drops helped them learn his true identity.

Federal authorities in Ohio said the man was suspected of running a $100 million cross-country scam collecting donations for Navy veterans, and they've learned he's actually a Harvard Law School graduate.

U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott in Cleveland said Monday that the man who identified himself as Bobby Thompson is really 65-year-old John Donald Cody. Chronic dry eyes helped authorities make the connection.

"After we arrested Thompson in Portland, in his room, he left behind two bottles of eye drops," Elliott said. "On the wanted poster, if you look at that, on Cody, he did not have tear glands and uses eye drops constantly."

He had been wanted on unrelated fraud charges since 1987. His identity was confirmed through 1969 military fingerprints that didn't make it into the national crime system.

He was jailed on charges of defrauding donors in 41 states of up to $100 million through a bogus Florida-based charity.

He pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Joseph Patituce, said Ohio has a weak case against his client.

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