Yesterday, lawyer and former military intelligence officer John Donald Cody, who has used the alias, Bobby Thompson went on trial for scamming people around the country out of more than one hundred million dollars in regard to a fraudulent charity, the United States Navy Veterans Association, which through which Cody collected millions of dollars from people who thought they were contributing to a charity to help veterans and their families only to later learn that the charity was a scam. Like many phony charities it has a name that both sounds legitimate and resembles that of real charities that help members of the military and their families. The charity is now disbanded following investigations and charges in a number of states. Already one person has pleaded guilty to corrupt activity, money laundering and tampering with records in regard to this phony charity.
The most important thing to remember before contributing to any charity is to make sure that the charity to which you are considering making a donation is a legitimate charity. I suggest that you go to the website www.charitynavigator.org where you can find out for free whether the charity is a scam or not. You also can find out how much the charity spends on its charitable purposes and how much of what it collects goes toward salaries and administrative costs. Too many “legitimate” charities spend much too much on their own salaries rather than directing the donations toward the charitable purposes for which they were organized.