Thomas associate admits role in D.C. lawmaker’s theft
The director of a golf-oriented nonprofit in Northeast D.C. admitted in federal court that he failed to disclose his role as a pass-through for public funds stolen by former D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. from 2007 to 2009.
Marshall D. Banks, 71, pleaded guilty Friday to concealing a felony and could face up to three years in prison for his role in managing funds earmarked for youth sports program at the Langston21st Century Foundation.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates set a status hearing in May to assess the progress of the cases before sentencing Banks.
Banks on Friday stood in the same courtroom as Thomas had seven days earlier. Thomas, who resigned from his council seat before pleading guilty to stealing public funds and filing false tax returns, faces more than three years in prison at his May 3 sentencing.
The Children & Youth Investment Trust Corp. granted $392,000 in city funds to Langston for youth programs, yet Thomas‘ nonprofit and for-profit entities Team Thomas and HLT Development were never mentioned in the grant agreement, according to prosecutors.
Banks also knew the grant funds were not being spent on city youth programs and continued to disburse them to Thomas even though he realized some of the funds would be used for Thomas‘ personal benefit, according to court papers.
Under the plea deal, Banks is responsible for $392,000 in restitution, along with the other men cited in the investigation.
Banks’ ties to the scheme first came to light in a lawsuit filed by D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan in June.
Mr. Jamison described Banks, a professor at Howard University with no prior criminal record, as “heartbroken” by what happened. He also emphasized Banks’ long record of service to youth.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.