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White Plains Non-Profit Exec Gets Jail Time In Mail Fraud Case

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A White Plains man, 67, was sentenced Friday in federal court to five months in prison for making false statements to the FBI in an attempt to cover up a scheme to take nearly $200,000 from a not-for-profit he worked with, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced.

David Griffiths served as the executive director of the Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services, Inc. (NETS) since 2003. Government grants funded most of its operations. When the FBI began investigating the Bronx not-for-profit’s use of those funds in 2008, Griffiths made false statements and representations, according to Bharara. In written response to a subpoena by a grand jury in the Southern District of New York in June 2009, he provided minutes of the NETS board of directors meetings regarding payments in the tens of thousands of dollars it authorized Griffiths to take as salary. He had no such authorization and tried to cover it up, along with a scheme to take almost $200,000, according to Bharara’s office.

“David Griffiths told lie upon lie to cover up his misuse of government grants intended to benefit an important neighborhood enhancement program,” Bharara said in a statement. “And for those crimes, he will now be punished.”

In a 2010 application to the state Dormitory Authority for more grant money, Griffiths made misrepresentations by stating that neither he nor NETS had been the subject of a criminal or civil investigation, or unsatisfied tax lens during the last five years, according to Bharara’s office. Griffiths knew the FBI and the state Attorney General’s Office was investigating him and NETS, which also had unsatisfied tax liens and judgments against it.

Griffiths was convicted of mail fraud, making false statements to the government and obstruction of justice on May 30, 2012, following a month-long jury trial.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein also sentenced him to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a mandatory special assessment of $300.

This case is being handled by the Office's Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie H. Cohen and Justin Anderson are in charge of the prosecution.

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