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Honor Flight Tri-State in Cincinnati gets $115K from scam artist's seized assets

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Posted at 10:33 AM, Nov 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-11 11:51:19-05

CINCINNATI -- Greater Cincinnati's Honor Flight program will get $115,000 from money seized during investigation of a multi-state Navy veterans charity fraud.

It's among nearly $1 million in grants benefiting veterans that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced this week.

Honor Flight Tri-State takes veterans to Washington D.C. so they can visit the World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the U.S. Air Force Memorial and other landmarks.

 

The trip isn't financially or physically possible for many veterans to make by themselves. Through the Honor Flight program, they receive airfare, a bus tour, meals, and souvenirs including a badge and T-shirt.

All World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans aged 65 and older, who served either stateside or overseas, are eligible.

DeWine, who's seeking the Republican Party nomination for governor, also gave $115,000 to Honor Flight clubs in Findlay, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton.

The money is through assets seized from the former veterans' charity scam artist known as Bobby Thompson, his office said. Thompson's real name is John Donald Cody, and he ran a scam charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. He was sentenced in 2013 to 18 years in prison, and he's being held at Richland Correctional Institution.

DeWine's office also gave:

  • $100,000 to Operation Legal Help Ohio, which helps low-income Ohio veterans get free legal help. It also will receive $150,000 to support Ohio’s 20 veterans’ courts, funding transportation costs for veterans traveling to required appointments;
  • $100,000 to Family and Community Services, for repairs and appliances at a facility in Lorain that will provide housing for female veterans and their children;
  • $36,000 to help create a healing garden for veterans and their families at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center; and
  • $10,000 to Toledo-based Heroes in Action, which supports service members and veterans throughout the state.