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February 22, 2013

Ex-D.C. Official Charged in Scheme to Divert Charity Funds

The former head of Washington, D.C.'s homeland security office was charged Thursday with preparing false documents to hide the use of money from a charity she ran to pay for a 2009 inaugural ball, says The Washington Post.

Millicent West is the fifth person charged in connection with the nonprofit theft scandal that sent ex-D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. to prison last year. She is expected to plead guilty at a federal court hearing Friday, according to the Post.

Prosecutors said Ms. West, in her prior role as head of the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust, took part in a scheme to divert $110,000 from the charity to an organization putting on a ball celebrating President Obama's first inauguration. Mr. Thomas is serving a 38-month prison sentence for using a nonprofit group and other entities to steal more than $350,000 from District youth programs.