The public defender assigned to ‘Bobby Thompson,’ the mystery man accused of stealing millions from a sham veterans’ charity, has given up on the case.
At a pre-trial hearing Thursday, attorney Mark Stanton “got off the case today by telling the judge the case was too complicated for one person,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
“I reluctantly, begrudgingly and, quite honestly, disdainfully, had to file that particular motion,” Stanton told Judge Annette Butler.
According to newsnet5.com, Stanton also said the case was taking up a lot of time, and he has other cases pending.
From the early 2000s until 2010, Thompson collected $100 million in donations from people in forty-one states for the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, a fake charity, and rubbed shoulders with political heavyweights like President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) at fundraisers and meet-and-greets. Authorities believe little, if any, of the money Thompson took in actually ended up helping service members. He disappeared in 2010, after getting word that he was the subject of a criminal investigation, and spent almost two years as a fugitive in various cities, using various names, until finally being captured in April. Authorities still don’t know his real identity — Thompson is an alias, and he has signed documents since his capture with Xs.
According to the Plain Dealer, Judge Butler on Thursday gave Thompson the option of representing himself in court, but he declined.
Read more about the Thompson saga here.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com