Thursday, December 12, 2013
PORTLAND — United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II has announced that Thomas Nelson, the former Chief Executive Officer of the York County Community Action Corporation, pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling close to $1 million from the federally funded program.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Joyce in a statement said Nelson, who lives in Alfred, appeared in U.S. District Court before United States District Judge Nancy Torreson. Nelson pleaded guilty to embezzlement, tax evasion and signing false tax return charges.
Court records show that from 2006 to 2010, the community action coporation received more than $30 million in federal funds for helping poverty stricken families with social, health and educational services.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that Nelson diverted $413,000 to a consulting company that submitted one invoice for $8,700.
In exchange for the fradulent payments, the consulting company paid more than $20,000 of Nelson’s personal expenses, including his home mortgage and cash kickback payments.
From 2004 to 2009, prosecutors allege that Nelson diverted more than $400,000 in community action program funds to a defunct non-profit agency – New England Community Action Agency. He recorded those payments as donations or consulting expenses. Nelson once worked as the agency’s treasurer.
After transferring the $400,000 to the action agency, Nelson used more than $300,000 to pay personal credit card expenses, his mortgage, and on gambling expenses.
Nelson admitted in court that he embezzled about $900,000 from the York County Community Action Corporation over a period of six years.
From 2005 o 2010, Nelso failed to report over $400,000 in embezzled income to the Internal Revenue Service and he prepared and signed tax returns which suggested that New England Community Action Agency had revenues and assets – it did not.
Nelson will be sentenced after the United States Probation Office completes a pre-sentence investigation. Nelson is facing a term of up to 10 years in prison.
As part of his plea agreement, Nelson has agreed to pay restitution of $1.2 million to the York County Community Action Corporation and $150,000 to the IRS.