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Associate Sentenced in U.S. Navy Veterans Charity Theft Case

8/10/2011

(CLEVELAND)—A woman who was involved in the theft of over $450,000 Ohio charitable dollars was sentenced to five years in prison by a Cuyahoga County Judge today, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced. Blanca Contreras had pled guilty on June 22 to one felony count each of theft, money laundering, tampering with records, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

At various times, Contreras represented herself as the “Acting Treasurer,” “Acting Secretary,” and “Chief Fiscal Officer” of various state chapters of an organization that fraudulently solicited donations advertised to benefit Navy veterans that went by the name of the United States Navy Veterans Association. Of the nearly $2 million in donations solicited in Ohio, little if any were used to benefit veterans. Contreras was indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on October 13, 2010, along with the organization’s director, a man known by the alias Bobby Thompson. Thompson remains at large.

“This case makes clear that Ohio will not tolerate scam artists who steal in the name of those who have served our country. I commend the work of our charitable investigators and special prosecutors who worked diligently to bring those who took advantage of Ohioans’ generosity to justice,” Attorney General DeWine said. “However, it is important to note that our work in this case is not over until the man known as Bobby Thompson is apprehended and prosecuted for his alleged crimes.”

Brad Tammaro of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission served as special prosecutor in this case. The investigation was coordinated amongst multiple agencies, including BCI and the Ohio Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section.

If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of the man known as Bobby Thompson, they are encouraged to contact BCI at 800-282-3784.

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Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840

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