- The Washington Times - Friday, May 25, 2018

A U.S. State Department employee pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing federal funds, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

Kelli R. Davis, 48, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public funds and engage in honest services wire fraud, according to court documents. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 24.

Davis, a program manager for the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Culture Affairs, admitted to stealing portions of the federal money allocated to its Sports Visitor Program. The Sports Visitor Program is a State Department initiative in which young athletes in other countries are selected to visit the United States for two weeks of training.

As part of the guilty plea, Davis admitted to falsifying vendor-related invoices and making fraudulent checks payable to a government contractor, Denon Hopkins. In April, Hopkins was sentenced to 14 months in prison for his role in the scheme.

Prosecutors said Davis and Hopkins stole about $17,335 from the State Department. A portion of those funds were allegedly used by Hopkins to pay kickbacks to Davis for retaining the transportation contract. Davis is also alleged to have stolen an additional $17,777 from the program from February 2011 through March 2016.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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