Trial Ordered For Phila. Man Charged With Fleecing Elderly WW II Vet
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A onetime childhood friend of Philadelphia DA Seth Williams has been ordered held for trial, accused of bilking a 93-year-old World War II veteran out of tens of thousands of dollars by impersonating various officials, including the DA himself.
Assistant district attorney Jan McDermott says defendant Shelton Thomas, 47, stole about $95,000 from victim Raymond Campbell of West Philadelphia (see previous story).
Today, Campbell testified that he emptied out a bank account and maxed out three credit cards for the man authorities say was a swindler who preyed on the vulnerable victim’s charitable nature.
And, according to police, Thomas has confessed, admitting he tricked Campbell with phony stories and phone calls, impersonating judges and other public officials, including Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams, with whom he played as a child.
Police quote Thomas as saying he took the money from Campbell to give to his fiancée for their wedding, rent, and food.
“And he has none of it left,” McDermott, the prosecutor, says. “I think he had, like, two dollars on him when he was arrested. His bail is $750,000. And the sad thing is that I don’t think Mr. Campbell will see a penny of this money paid back to him in his lifetime. And that is the real crime here.”
Thomas reimains in custody.