A former professional boxer and his wife were indicted Friday on charges they conspired to spend money meant for his anti-gang youth boxing center on personal goods, entertainment and other services, federal prosecutors said.
Keely E. Thompson Jr., 47, executive director of the District Boxing and Youth Center, and his wife, Bianca Thompson, 42, the center’s deputy director, were charged in a 31-count indictment by a federal grand jury in the District.
Thompson is a well-known D.C. boxer who fought professionally as a lightweight in the late 1980s and early 1990s; he established his nonprofit center to provide at-risk children and teenagers with physical fitness and developmental programs at locations in Northwest and Northeast Washington. From 2004 through 2010, Thompson’s center received more than $1.5 million in D.C. government and private grant funds, federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said that the Thompsons, however, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of that money on personal items and expenses. For example, prosecutors said, they spent more than $100,000 on gambling at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, on board a cruise ship, on expensive cars and on other personal items. They were also accused of issuing themselves over $100,000 in checks from the center’s bank account.
“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 Ronald C. Machen in a statement. “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.”
Thompson was arrested by FBI agents in November 2010 on a wire fraud charge. According to court records filed in September, Thompson expressed an interest in negotiating a plea but later changed his mind, leading to Friday’s indictment.