(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine tonight announced that more than $981,650 was uncovered in one of two suitcases found by agents from the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), along with members of the U.S. Marshals Service, following the execution of search warrants today in Portland, Ore., of a storage closet used by long-time fugitive Bobby Thompson.
“We knew he stole a tremendous amount of money from people he scammed across the country, but it was surprising to find the amount we did today,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “This is certainly more than we expected to recover and will eventually help with victim restitution.”
On Tuesday, Attorney General DeWine and U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio announced that long-time fugitive Bobby Thompson was arrested in Portland, Oregon.
“I am proud of our agents who worked hard to track Thompson down,” added Marshal Elliott. “What they uncovered today is truly remarkable.”
In addition to the cash, agents also discovered a suitcase filled with birth certificates and other items.
Thompson founded the bogus charity United States Navy Veterans Association, believed to have collected nearly $2 million in Ohio money and tens of millions more from donors in 40 other states since 2001. Thompson's activity in Ohio started in 2005 and continued until 2010. Thompson was featured as one of "America's Most Wanted" fugitives.
Thompson faces a 22-count indictment in Cuyahoga County from 2010 for theft, money laundering, tampering with records, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, among other charges. He has been on the run since the summer of 2010. His associate Blanca Contreras was sentenced to five years in prison on August 10, 2011.
Thompson is in federal custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting an identity hearing.
A photograph of the money found by agents.
Lisa Peterson-Hackley -- 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller -- 614-466-3840