Founder of DC Youth Program Pleads Guilty to Misappropriating Funds

January 13, 2012 9:08 pmBy: 

Marshall D. Banks, the founder of a non-profit organization that operated youth programs in the District of Columbia, pled guilty today to a felony charge stemming from his failure to report and effort to conceal the misappropriation of $392,000 in government grants.

Banks, 71, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a criminal Information charging him with one count of misprision of a felony (theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds). As part of the plea agreement, Banks agreed to cooperate in any criminal investigation or prosecution.

Today’s plea comes one week after the guilty plea of former District of Columbia Council member Harry L. Thomas, Jr., on charges that also involve the grant money.

A sentencing date has not yet been set. The Honorable John D. Bates scheduled a status hearing for May 25, 2012. The charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, as well as a possible fine and an order to make restitution. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range would be a maximum of six months of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000. Also, as part of the plea agreement, Banks agreed to be jointly and severally liable with others responsible for the crimes for paying $392,000 in restitution to victims of his conduct.

“Public corruption is allowed to flourish when ordinary citizens remain silent in the face of obvious wrongdoing,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. “While Harry Thomas lined his pockets with money meant to benefit children, he was unable to do so alone. Marshall Banks stood by while Thomas stole the money and instead of reporting it, actively helped to conceal the fact that grant funds were being funneled back to Thomas. Today’s guilty plea underscores the importance of standing up and speaking out against public officials who are on the take.”

Langston 21

According to a statement of offense signed by the government as well as the defendant, Banks was the founder and director of the Langston in the 21st Century Foundation (Langston 21), a non-profit organization that operated youth activities designed to foster educational advancement, including programs at Langston Golf Course in the District of Columbia.

Through his responsibilities at Langston 21, he worked with James Garvin, a board member for Langston 21 and the general manager of the golf course. The statement of offense says that Thomas, the District of Columbia Council member who represented Ward 5, informed Garvin in 2007 that he wanted to obtain grant funds to conduct activities in the ward. Thomas informed Garvin that Thomas needed a non-profit organization to act as the recipient of the money. Thomas also stated that a portion of the funds could be dedicated to youth programs at Langston Golf Course.

At Thomas’s request, Garvin asked Banks whether Langston 21 would serve as the nonprofit needed by Thomas to receive the grant funds and forward money to Thomas. Banks agreed. Langton 21 then executed a grant agreement for $392,000 with a non-profit publicprivate partnership that got funding from the District government.

Thomas told Garvin that Team Thomas, an organization he controlled, would be a suitable organization to carry out the grant. However, neither Thomas or Team Thomas were mentioned in the agreement with the public-private partnership.

In January, May, October and December of 2008, the public-private partnership issued quarterly grant payments to Langston 21. At or about the time of each check, Thomas directed Garvin or Banks to have Langston 21 issue checks to either Team Thomas or another organization, HLT Development, that Thomas also controlled.

Langston 21 received $392,000 in grant funds from the public-private partnership. From that grant money, Garvin and Banks issued checks to Team Thomas and HLT totaling $306,000.

Banks knew that the documentation used for the grants contained false representations. In addition, Banks knew that no D.C. youth were brought to the Langston golf course by Thomas to participate in grant-related activities. Sometime before October 2008, Banks determined that Thomas was not using the grant funds for their designated purposes. Yet he continued to deposit grant funds into Langton 21’s bank account and then write checks to Team Thomas and HLT with the term “youth sports” or “learning center” on the memo lines. Banks did not report the improprieties to authorities, even though he knew Thomas was using money for his personal benefit, and he helped Thomas conceal his actions.

Thomas, 51, pled guilty on January 6, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a criminal Information charging him with one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of filing a false tax return. As part of the plea agreement, he agreed to submit his resignation from the District of Columbia Council. Thomas is to be sentenced by Judge Bates on May 3, 2012. The investigation is continuing.

GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Politics Top Stories McAuliffe holds 7-point lead as Sarvis shaves GOP vote

    McAuliffe holds 7-point lead as Sarvis shaves GOP vote

    Democrat Terry McAuliffe holds a 7-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia’s gubernatorial election, according to a poll released today by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. With less than a week to Election Day, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli among likely voters, 45 percent to 38 percent. The Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, maintains a significant share of likely voters: 10 percent — more than two-thirds of whom say they are casting a protest vote against the […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories McAuliffe up by 4 points as Governor’s race remains close; turn-out will be crucial

    McAuliffe up by 4 points as Governor’s race remains close; turn-out will be crucial

    The Virginia governor’s race is going down to the wire with Democrat Terry McAuliffe clinging to a slight 45-41 percent likely voter lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and 9 percent for Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This compares to the results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, showing McAuliffe up 46-39 percent, with Sarvis at 10 percent. Today’s survey shows that if Sarvis were […]

    Read more →
  • Alexandria Education Top Stories TJ student-built satellite set to launch in November

    TJ student-built satellite set to launch in November

    A satellite developed and built by about 50 students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology over the past eight years -— the first ever built by high school students -— is scheduled to be launched into orbit by NASA November 19, weather permitting. The satellite, known as TJ3Sat (pronounced TJ-cube-sat), is one of 20 satellites selected by NASA as part of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, which includes cube-shaped research satellites that weigh approximately three pounds, also known […]

    Read more →
  • Oakton Police & Crime Top Stories 9-1-1 problems sending police on wild goose chases

    9-1-1 problems sending police on wild goose chases

    Fairfax County has had its share of problems with the 9-1-1 system managed by Verizon, including lengthy and widespread outages after the derecho that swept through the area in June 2012. But what’s happening now is even odder, and so far unexplained.  In several incidents, police have shown up at homes in the Oakton area, pounding on the door in response to a 9-1-1 hang-up call. “The VZ copper lines coming into our neighborhood are damaged and the dial tones […]

    Read more →
  • Entertainment & Events Military Top Stories Transportation Many street closings for the Marine Corps Marathon

    Many street closings for the Marine Corps Marathon

    A group of Marine and Army veterans will parachute from a fixed wing aircraft immediately before the start of the 38th Marine Corps Marathon — and they’ll be among the few not facing street closures and traffic congestion as the annual affairs kicks off. The 11-member skydiving team will carry a 7,800 square foot American flag, the largest flag to be included in a performance jump. In addition, they will carry smaller U.S. flags and the five flags of each military service […]

    Read more →
  • Entertainment & Events Floods & Natural Disasters Top Stories “Citizen hearing” on carbon pollution set for Oct. 29

    “Citizen hearing” on carbon pollution set for Oct. 29

    On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, witnesses including health experts, elected leaders and environmental advocates will testify before a “citizen hearing” in Arlington on Tuesday, October 29th in support of the recently-unveiled EPA carbon pollution standards for future power plants. The hearing comes after President Obama took action in June on climate change by announcing the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from future power plants, as well as infrastructure improvements to deal with the effects of climate change, and new […]

    Read more →
  • Alexandria Floods & Natural Disasters Politics Top Stories Moran announces $25 million for Dyke Marsh restoration

    Moran announces $25 million for Dyke Marsh restoration

    Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, announced a nearly $25 million investment to restore Dyke Marsh in Alexandria. The funds, which were awarded as part of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, will go towards the immediate restoration and long term preservation of the marsh. “Dyke Marsh is the largest freshwater tidal wetlands in this area – its 485 acres offer us a truly unique window to an earlier time,” said Rep. Moran.  “Decimated by years of commercial dredging and naturally occurring […]

    Read more →
  • Business Top Stories Cygnus spacecraft finishes its mission

    Cygnus spacecraft finishes its mission

    It’s been a short but successful mission and it will end not in ice but in fire. Orbital Science Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft returns to earth today after a mission to the International Space Station. Launched from NASA’s Wallops Island, Va., facility Sept. 18, Cygnus made its way to the space station, carrying 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and other supplies for the astronauts, as well as several student experiments that will be conducted on the station. Before it left the […]

    Read more →

The forecast for 22030 by Wunderground for WordPress