Former D.C. Council aide pleads guilty to falsifying tax documents

July 19, 2013
THE REGION
THE DISTRICT
Former D.C. Council aide pleads guilty

The former chief of staff to ex-D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying tax documents in connection with payments for a 2009 political ball.

Ayawna Webster, who was also president of the D.C. Young Democrats, is the sixth person charged in the Thomas investigation. Thomas, former Ward 5 council member who resigned in 2012, is serving a 38-month jail sentence for theft of more than $350,000 from the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp.

In charging documents filed Thursday, Webster is accused of falsifying tax documents and failing to file a tax return on behalf of the D.C. Young Democrats to reflect $104,500 in grant funds the organization used to pay for the ball.

— Keith L. Alexander

maryland
Pr. George’s water restrictions removed

Water restrictions were lifted Friday evening for more than 100,000 people in Prince George’s County.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said the damaged section of a major water main had been repaired, and the water flowing through it met environmental requirements.

— Martin Weil

MARYLAND
VIRGINIA
Parking lot manager sentenced for theft

A parking lot manager at the National Air and Space Museum annex in Chantilly who helped steal more than $1.3 million in parking fees was sentenced Friday to three years and four months in prison, authorities said.

Abeselom M. Hailemariam, 33, of Alexandria pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to commit theft of public money, admitting that he and others repeatedly pocketed the $15 visitor parking fee at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, and then sent fake revenue reports to the Smithsonian Institution to cover up. The scheme lasted from 2009 to 2012, but stopped at times if they felt that someone was on to them, court filings show.

— Matt Zapotosky

2 get prison terms in contracting scam

Two more men — including a former regional director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service — have been sentenced in connection with a far-reaching scheme to win lucrative government contracting work meant for small, minority-owned businesses, authorities said.

Derek Matthews, 47, who once was regional director of the Federal Protective Service, was sentenced Thursday to a year and three months. David Sanborn, 60, a government-contracting executive, was sentenced Friday to two years, authorities said. Federal prosecutors said the men were part of a ring that defrauded the government for more than a decade, running a scheme that netted more than $31 million in contracts they did not deserve.

— Matt Zapotosky

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