Florida Woman Sentenced in Ohio in Donation Scam

Aug 11, 2011

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Authorities say a Florida woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for her role in a scam that collected $2 million from Ohio residents who believed they were donating to a fund for U.S. Navy veterans.

Blanca Contreras of Tampa was sentenced Wednesday in Cleveland on earlier pleas to theft, money laundering and other charges. Attorney general's spokesman Dan Tierney says she handled nearly $475,000 in Ohio donations for the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. Investigators say little, if any, of the money was used to benefit veterans.

The group's director, known as Bobby Thompson, also has been charged and remains at large. Authorities have said he scammed donors in 30 states out of at least $20 million.