12 October 2013 - A Florida lawyer was convicted of racketeering Friday night for his role in setting up a $300 million network of illegal casinos that posed as a charity for veterans.
Kelly Mathis, 50, of Jacksonville, who was convicted in Seminole County Circuit Court in Sanford, was the first of 57 defendants to go on trial in a in a sprawling statewide gambling investigation that led to the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll in March.
Carroll, a Republican who in 2010 became the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Florida, had been a public relations consultant to the organization and was questioned but never charged. read more>>>
October 10, 2013 - A voice from Bobby Thompson's distant past was heard Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court during his trial on charges of running a national veterans charity scam that duped donors out of more than $100 million from 2002-10.
Authorities say that Thompson is a stolen identity used by John Donald Cody to set up the U.S. Navy Veterans Association (USNVA) nearly 20 years after he disappeared from his law practice in Sierra Vista, Ariz., in 1984.
Cody is wanted by the FBI in an espionage investigation, and faces federal fraud charges in Virginia, according to the prosecution in this case. read more>>>
October 11, 2013 - Today, senior DoD leaders consulted with the leadership of the Fisher House Foundation on moving forward with providing death benefits to the families of fallen service members.
Now that Congress has enacted legislation permitting DoD to provide families these benefits directly during the government shutdown, DoD is moving expeditiously to pay each family the $100,000 death gratuity they are owed. These payments were initiated today and the families will receive them early next week, when their banks reopen for business. In addition, Fisher House Foundation will donate $25,000 to each of these families from its own funds.
Secretary Hagel greatly appreciates the generosity of the Fisher House Foundation, as well as other groups which have stepped forward to help these families in their time of need. With Congress no longer preventing DoD from making these payments to the families directly, he is pleased that DoD will be able to fulfill its responsibilities to the families of the fallen. The Secretary remains deeply concerned about the disruptive impact the ongoing shutdown is having on Departmental operations, and continues to urge Congress to restore funding to the entire federal government.