$115K in veterans scam funds seized goes to Honor Flight Dayton


Honor Flight Dayton is one of several Oho veterans groups to be awarded grants from nearly $1 million seized from a veterans charity scam.

Ohio Attorney Gen. Mike DeWine announced the grants Saturday on Veterans Day.

“We worked hard to ensure this money would be used as originally intended -- to help veterans,” DeWine said.

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“Bobby Thompson,” aka John Donald Cody, ran a scam charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, collecting millions of dollars from donors nationwide. He was was convicted and sentenced in 2013 to 28 years in prison. Money seized was awarded to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for distribution to legitimate veterans charities. 

Though the grants, each of Ohio’s five Honor Flight hubs -- Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Findlay -- will receive $115,000 each. The program, founded in Dayton, takes veterans travel to their memorials in Washington, D.C.

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Operation Legal Help Ohio will receive $100,000 to support its mission of connecting low-income Ohio veterans to free legal hope. The group also will receive $150,000 to support Ohio’s 20 veterans’ courts, funding transportation costs for veterans traveling to required appointments, according to DeWine’s office.

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A $100,000 grand will go to Family and Community Services, DeWine’s office said, to fund repairs and appliances for a facility in Lorain that will provide housing for women veterans and their children. The facility will be called the Liberty House for Female Veterans and Families.

Also, the Ross County Veterans Council will receive $36,000 to help create a healing garden for veterans and their families at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, and $10,000 was awarded to Toledo-based Heroes in Action, which supports service members and veterans across Ohio.

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