Couple Indicted for Wire Fraud and Other Charges in Scheme to Steal Grant Funds Intended for Charitable Youth Boxing Program
Defendants Allegedly Used Money for Gambling, Other Personal Expenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 02, 2012|
WASHINGTON—Keely E. Thompson, Jr., executive director of Keely’s District Boxing and Youth Center, and his wife, Bianca Thompson, the center’s deputy director, were indicted today on federal charges alleging they conspired to spend District of Columbia and private grant funds meant for youth programs and activities on personal goods, entertainment, and services.
The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Charles J. Willoughby, Inspector General for the District of Columbia.
Keely Thompson, 47, and Bianca Thompson, 42, of Accokeek, Maryland, were indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The 31-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and related charges. It also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds that can be traced to the scheme.
According to the indictment, Keely’s District Boxing and Youth Center was a non-profit organization based at locations in Northwest and Northeast Washington. The operations were funded with grant money. The organization received more than $1.5 million in government and private funding between 2004 and 2010, and this money was to be used to provide youth development and physical fitness programs to at-risk children living in the District of Columbia.
Instead, the Thompsons allegedly used much of the money to pay for personal goods; entertainment and services, including over $100,000 for gambling at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City and on board a Norwegian Cruise Line; vehicle leases on a BMW 525i and Lincoln Navigator; furniture for their private residence; and various other personal items. The Thompsons also issued themselves over $100,000 in handwritten checks out of the charitable company’s bank account with no accounting records or receipts, the indictment alleges. They also are accused of spending over $135,000 on a 2009 fundraiser at a Washington, D.C. hotel that only raised approximately $23,000 for the charitable company.
“This indictment charges Keely Thompson and his wife with diverting tax money intended for at-risk kids to finance their own luxury lifestyle,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Money meant to teach D.C. youth about discipline and physical fitness was allegedly gambled away in Atlantic City and on a cruise ship, while other funds allegedly went to lease expensive cars, furnish the Thompsons’ home, and even rent a ferris wheel for a party at the Thompsons’ house. We remain committed to aggressively prosecuting those who attempt to exploit, for their own personal enrichment, programs intended to benefit our city’s youth.”
“The allegations against the Thompsons are based on the misuse of funds, intended to improve the lives of District youth, for their own personal use,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Any such behavior is illegal and unacceptable, and those who commit such acts will be held accountable. We urge anyone with information about fraud or corruption to come forward and contact the FBI.”
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin, and Inspector General Willoughby commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the District of Columbia Inspector General’s Office, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Waxman, who is prosecuting the case.