The Virginia Attorney General’s office yesterday issued a press release regarding the U.S. Navy Veterans Association scam.
It was more remarkable for its omissions than for the news contained in it.
Here’s what it says:
1) A fundraising firm linked to the fraudulent U.S. Navy Vets has agreed to return $16,780 in contributions it solicited from 812 Virginians on behalf of the Navy vets AFTER the organization (under pressure of the state) agreed to stop soliciting in Virginia in 2009. The outfit, Association Community Services, already has returned $32,500 it solicited from 1,500 other Virginians.
2) ACS also has agreed to return $9,053 for funds it illegally solicited for another veterans outfit, American Homeless Veterans, which was not registered with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
3) ACS has also agreed to pay $40,000 in civil penalties and attorneys fees for the above violations, although ACS admits no wrongdoing.
4) The Attorney General’s Office continues to work with local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities to bring Thompson to justice but it cannot be any more specific about those matters because they are under investigation.
Now here’s what it doesn’t mention:
5) The phony, fraudulent U.S. Navy Veterans Association has reported scamming more than $2 million from Virginians through various fundraising ruses. Thus, state residents are still out more than $1,935,000 that was stolen from them.
6) The Florida-based fugitive leader of the scam outfit, who used the stolen identity “Bobby Thompson” bought himself a law in the 2010 Virginia General Assembly exempting the scam U.S. Navy Vets from having to register beginning July 1, 2010.
7) Thompson did that with $67,500 in 2009 campaign contributions to Virginia politicians. Of that, $55,500 went to Cuccinelli’s campaign, $5,000 went to the campaign of Gov. Bob McDonnell, $2,000 went to House Speaker Bill Howell, $2,000 went to House Committee Chair Chris Jones, $2,000 went to one of Jones’ subcommittee chairs who is no longer in the legislature. All of those were Republicans. Thompson also gave $1,000 went to a former Democratic senator who put the bill in, at the behest of a longtime GOP lobbyist.
8) Almost all that money was donated to legitimate veterans charities in 2010 after The Roanoke Times exposed the law that Thompson bought; and the General Assembly repealed the purchased law in 2011.
9) More than 18 months after Thompson’s law-buying scam was revealed, not one Virginia law enforcement agency has managed to bring a single criminal charge against him.
10) The Ohio Attorney General’s office, under former Attorney General Richard Cordray, managed to bring charges against Thompson and one of his female associates, and she is now serving a prison sentence for fraud.
I mean, come on. This is hardly any victory. The vast majority of Virginians’ money is still missing.
And did they think we’d forget how easily the entire Virginia General Assembly sold a con man a law so he could continue to cheat Virginians in return for a measly $67,500 in campaign contributions?