Loose Lips

What the Vehicle Seizures Might Mean

At the risk of overstating the obvious: Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. appears fucked.

This morning FBI agents and special agents from the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division raided his home, took a few trash bags worth of evidence, and towed his Chevy Tahoe and a motorcycle.

D.C. DMV records show that Thomas registered the 2008 Tahoe on Aug. 13 of this year, at a listed price of $39,390. (LL looked up the Blue Book value, which suggest the vehicle is worth several thousand dollars less.) Thomas' motorcycle is a 2008 Victory Ness that city records show he registered on Halloween in 2008 and cost him $23,699. It stands to reason, though LL doesn't know for sure, that Thomas got the Tahoe after trading in the Audi he allegedly bought with ill-gotten city money.

So why take Thomas' rides? LL checked in with former U.S. Attorney for the District Joe DiGenova for an idea. DiGenova says the feds may have seized Thomas' vehicles not only because they are potential evidence of criminal wrongdoing ("You never know what you're going to find when you have several days to search a car," says DiGenova), but also to help Thomas realize he's now in a world of hurt. In order to seize the Tahoe and the Victory, DiGenova says, federal agents would have had to convince a judge there's enough probable cause that the rides are linked to a crime, or are the "fruits" of a crime. That means that agents would have already compiled a lengthy paper trail of bank records, car payments, and more.

"This is a signal to him and his attorney that they might want to come in and chat," DiGenova says.

Given the mountain of damning evidence against Thomas that already exists on the public record, thanks to the D.C. attorney general's civil lawsuit filed this summer, it's not surprising that the feds would want to send Thomas that kind of signal. But it's also a clear indication to the public, which we did not get until this morning, that federal law enforcement authorities are taking this case very, very seriously.

Video by Mike Madden

  • Jim Ed

    That lede wins the week. nicely done.

  • SaveWard7

    Someone needs to remind the Feds that their work is not complete. Don't forget: Gray, Alexander, and K.Brown.

  • Truth hurts

    Isn't Thomas's second 50k installment due about now?

  • One that cares

    The sweet smell of JUSTICE!

  • Southeast Ken

    You can add Jack Evans and Miss Graham.

  • Typical DC BS

    I'd like to ask the feds why this took so long. Some of the cases seem to take forever, when it seems there is so much information already available that they aren't being that diligent and industrious.

    But still, great news AT LAST.

  • Jason

    $300,000?? Thats small money compared to Jack Evans.. Shit Adrian Fenty's friends got more than that! This is bigger than $300,000.. He pissed somebody off.

    Jason

  • Southeast Ken

    The white folks in Virginia and Maryland are having a field day on WTOP's blog.

    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=109&sid=2654759

  • Southeast Ken

    The white folks living in Virginia and Maryland are having a field day on WTOP's blog regarding Harry Thomas Jr.

  • Lorna Doone

    Would those who keep linking Jack Evans to all these corrupt idiots please just desist. Jack has a brain, thankfully, which is sorely needed on this inept, corrupt Council.

    I do think there is an air of racism in all this, in that Jim Graham, probably the most corrupt person to ever serve in DC government, is still walking on the outside of prison walls.

  • anonymous

    Merry Christmas Harry!

    Romaine, your dream has turned a bit sour on you dear. Too bad you all didn't heed dear old dad who knew Jr. was just too stupid to make it as a council member. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for mother to be so pushy. Greeter at Ward 5's new Walmart might be a job that would keep you busy Romaine.

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    Shiiiiiiiiit....he's in some shit.

  • Dave B

    Graham, evans, fenty, might have done wrong things, but they apparently weren't so stupid about it. Gray, Bulletproof, and htj are too stupid to pull crimes off and that stupidity is reflected in their ability to govern. To commit a crime and get away with it requires intelligence and planning, skills that might be useful in governing as well

  • And . . .

    And cue Courtland Milloy's next piece on how the Feds keep picking on "traditional" DC/PG County politicians.

  • TheHermanCain

    Make money the honest way and you'll get the all bitches you can possibly handle (and, apparently, a few you can't. I'm still working on that).

    Steal money, and the FBI will take away your fine rides and you'll be someone's bitch in a Federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison.

  • noodlez

    THOMAS IS/WAS A PRODUCT OF HIS ENVIRONMENT.
    PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

    OTHERS ARE CONTINUING TO MISAPPROPRIATE, SPEND AS IF THEY HAVE IT LIKE THAT AND SET UP FOLKS & MONEY FUNNELLING THROUGH FILTERS.

    I DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE $60K THEY SAY HE SPENT OR THE $300K THEY SAID HE FINAGLED FROM DC. I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIM SUPPOSEDLY USING A YOUTH ORGANIZATION TO CREATE THIS MESS FOR HIMSELF THEN NOT TO SHOW THAT HE SPENT THE MAJORITY OF THE MONEY ON THOSE OUNG FOLK.

    LEST NOT FORGET FOLKS THAT THIS INVESTIGATION WAS SPURRED ON BY FLENTY AND PLUG NICKLES BECAUSE HARRY PUT A STOP TO THEIR BACKDOOR SHENANIGANS OF GIVING CONTRACTS TO FAGGIE FENTY’S FRAT PHONIES THAT WAS WORTH MILLIONS.

    THIS REMINDS ME OF THE KOBE V. SHAQ BULL SHIGGADY.
    KOBE(FENTY) GOT CAUGHT AND GOT OFF BUT SNITCHED ON
    SHAQ(HARRY) WHO GOT SHIPPED OUT OF L.A.

    TO ANSWER THE QUESTION I THINK IT MIGHT MEAN THAT HARRY AT THE VERY LEAST MIGHT WANT TO GET A SMARTPASS OR PURCHASE A POOKIE SPECIAL RECYCLED BIKE FROM THE PAWN SHOP TO MAKES HIS ROUNDS.

  • Honest Abe

    It looks like the feds have decided to take some action against the cheat HTJ. Hopefully this raid wasn't for show and actual charges will be brought forth. We the citizens of Ward 5 deserve better representation on the Council. Hopefully he will resign soon rather than pull a Leslie Johnson and defiantly remain on the council.

  • Honest Abe

    @noodlez

    Good one!

  • Mark

    ...THIS INVESTIGATION WAS SPURRED ON BY FLENTY AND PLUG NICKLES BECAUSE HARRY blah blah blah

    noodlez
    in this matter it's not whether you make money, it's whether you break the law doing it. Fenty isn't going to jail, nor is Nickles. HTJ is. Because, as you say, he stole from the kids in his own ward. Fenty built them schools and recs. HTJ fought him all the way, all the while sterling from them.
    Own it.

  • Truth Hurts

    Get a grip, noodlez. It's beneath you to post something even remotely rationalizing Thomas' smug theivery.

  • noodlez

    ahh MARK STEP TO ME CORRECT AND FACTUAL SLIM AND NOT WITH SOME BULLSHIT AND RESIDUE FROM FENTY'S DICK IN YOUR ASS TO MAKE A POINT!

  • DJ Ren

    All caps, please elaborate. You are really ok with HTJ stealing (or in you words, "finagling") 60 or 300k from DC - so long as he doesn't set up a fake charity to do so?

    In the grand contest to see who makes the least sense, you're giving tony a serious run for his money.

    Also love the continual calling out of others to come "correct and factual", but basing your comments on the "eye test". Clownshoes.

  • noodlez

    @DJ REN-ALL THE COUNCILMEMBERS ARE STEALING MONEY!!! SOME ARE DOING IT LEGALLY WHILE OTHERS JUST DONT GIVE A SHIT HOW THEY ARE DOING IT.

    EARMARKS, CONSTITUANT FUNDS, CONTRACT STEERING . . . SLIM TRUST AND BELIEVE IT IS BEING DONE. SO NO THE PETTY CASH THAT HARRY TOOK DOESNT BOTHER ME. THE FACT THAT HE USED A YOUTH ORGANIZATION AS A FRONT DOES! THAT IS WEAK AND LOW AND HE KNEW BETTER.

    "Also love the continual calling out of others to come "correct and factual", but basing your comments on the "eye test". Clownshoes" HOMEY YOU TRYING TOO HARD! IT HAS TO COME NATURAL. BET YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE DUDES THAT POUR HATERAID IN THE LIL SNOW BUNNY'S GLASS CAUSE SHE IS MAKING 'FUCK ME EYES' AT ANOTHER DUDE ACROSS THE CLUB BECAUSE YOU ARE BORING HER TO DEATH WITH TALK ABOUT WHO MAKES THE 'LEAST SENSE'.

  • Blevins

    @#23, thanks for writing the single dumbest thing I've read here yet - that $300k of taxpayer money (I'm assuming that you pay taxes, so your money)being stolen by HTJ is both "petty cash", and "doesn't bother me (you)". So, in the gospel according to you, councilmembers can steal so long as they don't use "weak and low" fronts.

    And, since everyone is doing it (again, according to you), theft of taxpayer funds by councilmembers is not only ok, but should be both expected and accepted.

    Attitudes like yours move the city backward every day. Congratulations - the One City Crew couldn't ask for a better ambassador.

  • Progentrification

    Yeah, Thomas must be innocent. I mean, basically everyone I know has had a civil suit filed against them by the DC government. And almost everyone of them has settled it out of court, agreeing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars even though they were innocent. Also, I don't go a day without hearing about another friend's house being raided by the IRS!

    BTW, claiming racism anytime a black politician is accused of committing a crime, is itself racist.

  • noodlez

    @Blevins-I CANT HELP YOU WITH YOUR DEFICIENCY OF COMPREHENDING EVERYTHING YOU READ AS BEING DUMB BECAUSE YOUR WHITE ASS DON’T UNDERSTAND BLACK FOLK. HOWEVER YOUR LACK OF ANYTHING TANGIBLE TO ADD TO THE CONVO ESPECIALLY AS IT APPLIES TO ME IS GETTING A BIT BORING.

    YOUR COMMENT #24 AND THE WAY YOU ATTEMPTED TO DECONSTRUCT MY COMMENT IS ABOUT AS WEAK AND LOW AS HARRY’S ATTEMPT. I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST THAT YOU DON’T TRY TO SPEAK FOR ME OR MY IDEALS AS YOUR COMMENT SHOWS THAT DON’T HAVE THE CAPACITY NOR THE VOLUME IN YOUR CEREBRUM.

    IT’S COCKSUCKERS LIKE YOU THAT CONTINUE TO THINK THAT WHATEVER STATUS TRACK YOUR PARENTS PUT YOU ON ACTUALLY ADDS NOTHING TO THIS CITY BUT A FEW BUCKS ON THE TAX LEDGER. YOU REALLY NEED TO GET OVER YOURSELF SLIM AND THAT FAKE ASS HATIN YOU DOING.

  • Rake

    @Blevins, Well done.

    @allcaps, no need to "disconstruct" your comment - it's clear as day. It's cool if HTJ stealing money doesn't bother you, just own it. Trying to pawn it off getting called out as somehow not tangible just makes you look, well, silly.

    Back to lurking - One City, many subpoenas.

  • Cam

    Regarding the justification of HTJ's actions, growing up in Detroit, it was described as "he got his." Folks felt that, if they were in a similar position, they would have done the same; therefore, who were they to criticize?

    Frustrating then. Frustrating now.

  • Blevins

    @Noodlez, You are hillarious. Despite your exhortations for something "tangible to add to the convo", I'm looking for the same from you. After all, it's your opinion that I'm quoting, not interpreting. Nothing you write requires interpretation or introspection. Either stand behind your statements or go home.

    The constant cry for "factual" or "tangible" comments in the face of your own output is laughable. You've become so formulaic in your non-defenses I could just hit caps lock and stand in. I'd just simply use gay slurs, imply that the all others lacks facts (while offering none of my own), that they are somehow "hatin", and aren't part of the "real" city.

    Get a new trick.

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  • Keith B.

    What's wrong with hating? You need a new line of attack nooDLez, you forgot "stay in your lane", etc. Sometimes you gotta realize you're arguing a non-winning point, gramps.

  • noodlez

    @Blevins-I SYMPATHIZE WITH YOU THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW UP WITH OR AROUND BLACK FOLK. IM TALKING ABOUT BLACKS NOT SOMEONE WHOSE SKIN TONE HAVE MELANIN. YOU REALLY COULD HAVE EXPANDED YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS. UNFORTUNETLY YOU ARE STUCK IN A PLACE OF WHITEYHELL; THAT PLACE WHERE YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE ANYTHING THAT ISNT AND OF WHITE PEOPLE.

    LOOKY HERE I STAND BEHIND EVERYTHING I COMMENT ON AND I DON’T HAVE TO DEFEND ANYTHING I COMMENT ON ESPECIALLY FROM CHALLENGES BY YOU. BESIDES YOUR SELF–CONVINCING, THINKING YOU KNOW WHAT’S UP FOR REAL RHETORIC MAY PLAY WELL WITH FOLK OF YOUR KIND BUT IT IS ALL BULLSHIT TO ME!

    YOU NEVER ADD ANYTHING TO THE CONVO AND I CANT HELP YOU WITH YOUR LACK OF UNDERSTANDING! YOUR CAUCASOID POSITION CONSTANTLY REVEALS YOUR LUST TO DISENFRANCHISE PEOPLE YOU CANT IDENTIFY WITH! MIND DETECTS MIND. WHAT I DETECT FROM YOU IS THAT YOU ARE AFRAID AND UNHAPPY THAT THE MAJORITY RACE IN THIS CITY IS GOVERNED BY THE MAJORITY RACE IN THIS CITY. THIS IS NOT SOUTH AFRICA HOMEBOY! THIS IS WASHINGTON, D.C.

    YOU CAN BE DISMISSIVE OF MY COMMENTS ALL YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU DON’T MATTER. YOU MAY ATTEMPT TO MAKE COMMENTS ON MY BEHALF I WELCOME YOU TO USE THE HANDLE JUST BE CREATIVE AND NOT MILQUETOAST. FACT IS I MAY CHANGE MY HANDLE TO GYNECOLOGIST IN THE NEW YEAR BECAUSE IMA BE PUTTING ALL YALL “PUSSIES” ON DISPLAY.

    A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I WOULD HAVE COMMENT SUPLEXED YOUR ASS SO CONSIDER YOUSELF LUCKY. HOWEVA IF YOU KEEP GETTING AT ME YOU’RE GOING TO BE NEEDING A PREIST TO PERFORM AN EXORCISM TO CLEANSE YOUR MIND FRAME AFTER noodlez IS FINISHED WITH YOUR TIRED BLAND ASS.

    ONE CITY!

  • noodlez

    @Keith B-I SEE YA STILL HANGING AROUND PEOPLES BALL SACK TRYING TO CATCH SOME DRIPPINGS!

  • Blevins

    @31, same old, same old. "comment suplex"? Better eat your wheaties, as you can barely plod through an entire comment in a coherent fashion.

    As usual, your "detections" are incorrect, and serve as noise to avoid the admission that you've been taken to school - quickly and easily. Easier to hide behind taunts than attempt to argue a position, I guess.

    I'll bottom line it for you - I'm a native washingtonian. Sorry if that bothers you. Thiefs like HTJ, Graham, and their enablers, set the city back. We can move forward, or we can condone this behavior because according to you: "ALL THE COUNCILMEMBERS ARE STEALING MONEY!!! SOME ARE DOING IT LEGALLY WHILE OTHERS JUST DONT GIVE A SHIT HOW THEY ARE DOING IT.

    EARMARKS, CONSTITUANT FUNDS, CONTRACT STEERING . . . SLIM TRUST AND BELIEVE IT IS BEING DONE. SO NO THE PETTY CASH THAT HARRY TOOK DOESNT BOTHER ME"

    Fortunately, those who share your attitude are few in number in this regard, "slim". But hey, thanks for playing.

  • noodlez

    YO RICE KRISPY I WAS TAKEN TO SCHOOL ONCE BY MY MOTHER AND THAT IS WHERE IT ENDS. I'VE ALWAYS FOUND MY OWN WAY TO SCHOOL SINCE I WAS IN THE 1ST GRADE. YOU UNFORTUNETLY WAS ALLOWED TO GO BY YOURSELF FINALLY WHEN YOU WAS OLD ENOUGHT TO DRIVE. SO I HAVE QUITE A BIT HEADSTART ON YOUR SORRY ASS.

    THE PROBLEM AS I SEE IT IS YOU NEED AN INTERPRETER. MAYBE IF YOU SPEND SOME TIME AMOUNG THE REAL NATIVES OF THIS CITY AND NOT JUST UP ON HIGH YOU WOULD GET IT BUT THAT HIGH CLASS EDUCATION ISNT DOING YOU ANY GOOD HERE MY FELLOW NATIVE WASHINGTONIAN. TRY NYC OR SAN FRAN MAYBE YOU COULD FIT IN THERE.

    OR YOU COULD START YOUR OWN COLONY ON THE NEW PLANET KEPLER 21-B. THERE YOU CAN MAKE SURE NONE OF YOUR COUNCIL PEOPLE STEALS MONEY LEGALLY. IF THEY DO YOU CAN GO AFTER FOLK WHO POCKETS MILLIONS LIKE FLENTY, EVANS, WELLS AND GAYTANIA AND NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE PETTY LARCENERS!

    ONE CITY.
    TWO SCHOOL BUS TOKENS.
    THREE COMMENTS YOU'RE OUT!

  • Blevins

    Where do you have a headstart? Certainly not in grammar.

    It appears that our definitions of "petty larceny" are substantially different. $300k tax free is a LOT of money, slim. More than enough to see HTJ locked up.

    It's also Kepler 22-B, and I'll settle for working to move this city forward, and challenging those who want to impede progress. Here endeth the lesson.

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