Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Minnesota fines fugitive founder of Tampa-based Navy vets fake charity

To collect, they'll have to find him.

Minnesota regulators have levied a $21,000 fine against the man known as Bobby Thompson, the fugitive founder of the Tampa-based U.S. Navy Veterans Association, for making illegal campaign contributions.

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ruled this week that Thompson, who stole the identity of a Washington man, broke the law by using the false name to give $13,000 to GOP candidates and committees in that state from 2008 to 2010.

Thompson was also linked to a contribution made to Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert under the name Maria D'Annuzio.

A handwritten note from Thompson that accompanied the contribution indicated D'Annuzio was a Navy Veterans employee. But investigators were unable to find her.

The board found no cause to believe the Seifert campaign or the other recipients of the contributions, including the House Republican Campaign Committee and Patriot PAC, were aware of the stolen identity.

Thompson and the sham veterans charity he founded were the focus of "Under the Radar," a St. Petersburg Times investigative series, which found that none of the people listed on the association's elaborate website as members of the national board of directors or state officers existed.

Using a stolen name, Social Security number and date of birth, Thompson made political donations at a steadily increasing rate after he established the Navy Veterans charity and hired telemarketing firms to finance its operation.

By April 2010, Thompson's name had been used to make contributions totaling more than $208,000.

Thompson also set up a political action committee called U.S. Navy Veterans for Good Government, or NAVPAC. It reported receiving $146,228, but Federal Election Commission records show he was the only donor.

For eight years, Thompson ran the Navy Veterans and NAVPAC from a bedraggled Ybor City duplex. He dissolved NAVPAC and abandoned the duplex as he was about to be exposed, moved to New York City, then vanished last June.

His whereabouts and real name remain a mystery. In October, an Ohio grand jury indicted him.

Minnesota fines fugitive founder of Tampa-based Navy vets fake charity 06/02/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1.   Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  5. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.