As The Post and Washington City Paper have reported, the Thompsons created Keely’s District Boxing and Youth Center (KDBYC) in 2003 to help “at-risk” youth, from ages 8 to 18, in Columbia Heights. Keely Thompson had fought as a professional boxer several years earlier.
Some might say that the ability to punch someone’s lights out might not rank high among the skills needed to help kids navigate their way to responsible adulthood.
Sure, the streets can be tough. But learning how to read, write and do arithmetic and how to respect others and yourself rank, at least to me, higher than mastering an uppercut.
The D.C. government, however, apparently thought juvenile fisticuffs were a swell idea. From 2004 to 2009, according to the indictment, the District gave the boxing center more than $1.4 millionthrough grants from city agencies, the council and nonprofit entities.
One entity, the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., gave the Thompsons $471,405 over four years. To what end?
The indictment charged that the Thompsons deposited grant funds into the company’s checking account and then proceeded to do the following (draw near, D.C. taxpayers, to see your hard-earned money at work):
Bianca Thompson, according to the indictment, issued a $2,200 check from the boxing center’s business checking account in August 2007to pay for Keely Thompson’s “personal legal fees relating to an assault charge filed against” him in the District.
In November 2007 she allegedly used $662.23 in center funds to pay leasing costs on a 2005 BMW 525i, and in February 2008 she “caused $1,087.58 in KDBYC funds to be used to pay for a vehicle lease on a 2008 Lincoln Navigator.”
In July 2008, the indictment charged, Bianca Thompson issued a bonus check to her husband for $18,500 that he used in part to “purchase furniture for their family residence in Maryland.”
In August 2008, the indictment said, Bianca Thompson used $196.10 in company funds to pay for the children’s inflatable toy known as a Moonbounce “for a personal event” at the family residence. That same month, she used $1,466 in boxing center funds to pay for a water slide and Ferris wheel for a personal event at the family residence, it said.
The indictment charged that on or near Oct. 7, 2008, Keely Thompson withdrew “$5,225 in KDBYC funds from an ATM on board a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship, to gamble.” Two days later, he withdrew the same amount on board “to gamble,” it said.
That month, the indictment said, he withdrew $4,159.99 in center funds from an ATM in Bally’s casino in Atlantic City and then withdrew $5,159.99 the same day “to gamble.”