Loose Lips

Harry Thomas Associate Pleads Guilty, More To Come?

An associate of disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty today in federal court to not reporting and concealing Thomas' theft of more than $300,000 in public funding.

Marshall Banks, a 71-year-old former Howard University professor, was the founder and president of the Langston 21st Century Foundation. According to the statement of offense filed today in court, Banks allowed and helped Thomas use the nonprofit as a pass-through to enrich himself with city dollars. As part of his plea deal, the maximum amount of prison time prosecutors will seek is six months. A judge has the final say in Banks' sentencing, which is scheduled for May.

"While Harry Thomas lined his pockets with money meant to benefit children, he was unable to do so alone," says U.S. Attorney Ron Machen in a statement. "Marshall Banks stood by while Thomas stole the money and instead of reporting it, actively helped to conceal the fact that grant funds were being funneled back to Thomas. Today's guilty plea underscores the importance of standing up and speaking out against public officials who are on the take.”

The statement of offense Banks signed also appears to implicate Jimmy Garvin, another principal at Langston 21. "Garvin and Banks participated in the grant process and thereby concealed Thomas' misappropriation of funds," court records say, which go to note that "Garvin and Banks did not report to authorities the improperities" concerning the grant Thomas used to enrich himself.

Garvin has not been charged with any crime. He and Banks are represented by the same attorney, who did not immediately response to a request for comment.

Here's the statement of offense:

[scribd id=78187106 key=key-2037tbgo4oacwr42tya5 mode=list]

  • Keith B.

    It's hard to say "no" to your friends, but sometimes you just gotta leave them to their schemes. Too bad!

  • truth hurts

    Garvin will be up to bat next week.

  • Drez

    An HU Prof misusing the name Langston to help seal money from ward 5 kids...

  • Steve

    Can't the public contact the judge and as for a longer sentence? (if so how) Six months isn't enough

  • Truth hurts

    Send the judge a letter identifying the case by caption and docket number, identify who you are and your reason for writing. The judge typically will send copies to the prosecutor and defense attorney.

  • Truth hurts

    Garvin's lawyer has now confirmed that Garvin will enter a guilty plea next week. For those keeping a count, he'll be number 3 so far.

  • Anonymous, Too

    LOLOL... while Ron Machen unloads his gatling gun on this bunch of penny ante thugs, who's gonna get the cronies--like Keith Lomax (back in the saddle with Allen Lew) who was paid $9.5 mil of taxpayer dollars with no support docs--of the bigtime boyz???

  • NE John

    DC needs a Magnum Force unit that will take care of these things discretely and efficiently.

  • Truth hurts

    Atoo-why don't u take your evidence to the usatty?

  • Drez

    'Cause there is no evidence.

  • Anonymous, Too

    @TH... sounds like that's the only way anything will ever get done on this ripoff.

    Clearly, the folks in charge don't care that both the Auditor and the Att. Gen. delivered damning reports outlining evidence that Lomax's RBK Landscaping business (as well as other cronies) was paid $9.5 million for "services rendered" without any supporting documentation.

    In a separate issue, Lomax claimed his business was located in a Ward 7 3-bedroom condo instead of in Maryland, where he and all known RBK business associates actually live. In other words, Lomax and RBK “obtained certification by fraud or deceit or--furnished substantially inaccurate or incomplete ownership information, and should be prosecuted in accordance with DC Law 12-268.″

    Instead, Lomax and RBK were rehired in 2011 by City Administrator Allen Lew and are back delivering their best phantom services to DC taxpayers.

  • Typical DC BS

    Amazing that Marshall Banks gets to keep his Howard University job after being convicted of a felony. I know my butt would be out the door at my company if I was convicted of a felony.

    Guess Howard University tenure rules don't allow professors to lose their job short of murdering their supervisors?

  • truth hurts

    Atoo - this isn't the first time you've accused Lomax and Lew of wrongdoing. As I previously commented, the Lew and/or Lomax report was issued around May of 2011. As you know, Gray promoted Lew to City Administrator and, from what you're now asserting, Lew in 2011 awarded govt contracts to Lomax.

    All under Gray's administration.

    So I don't understand the continual harping about Fenty. Gray runs one city now. If he or Nathan won't look into your claims, then I suggest you approach the FBI and/or the US ATTY.

  • LastStop

    It was under the "leadership" of Adrian Fenty that 4 million local tax dollars was shifted to D.C. Housing Authority where it was doled out in contracts to friends and cronies purposely beyond legislative oversight.

    There is no such thing as an honest politician. Period, EndofStory.Com.

  • truth hurts

    As long as otherwise seemingly reasonable people continue to attack Fenty, claiming he was criminally corrupt, One City Gray will be happy as a clam. He's likely hoping Fenty hatred will last another 3 years. It's all he had as council chair, and it's why he's been DC's mayor for over a year.

    If folks don't want to deal with what DC pols have done in 2011 and 2012, then let's talk about Gray's lottery contract shenanigans from 2010. Why hasn't the IG, or Gray's AG, bothered to investigate the 2010 complaint from the prior AG and DC's chief contracting officer? And why did Gray fight (and lose) the subpoena in Payne's case? He really really doesn't want to talk about that one under oath.

  • Terry Miller

    In the year since Gray has been Mayor, virtually the only "issues" have been some bad appointments early on, and an allegation that a minor candidate was paid to dis Fenty. Yet the Post and the City Paper keep reporting about this ad nauseum! They conveniently forget that Adrain Fenty was Mayor and had successfully stacked the Children and Youth Investment Trust with his own cronies at the time that Harry Thomas, Jr. was stealing from the Fund. In fact, at that Thomas & Fenty were buds! I say dig deeper and you will find more of Fenty's cronies were on the take...

  • Drez

    It's Fenty's fault that HTJ is a crook. All those 2010photos of HTJ and Gray campaigning together mean nothing.
    Pass it on!

  • truth hurts

    Yeah man! FENTY FENTY FENTY FENTY ................

    Pass it on!

    He's responsible for every criminal and/or just plain dumbass thing in One City!!

    Seriously, Onecidiots, DC is all yours now. Fenty's not standing in your way. Have at it, we'll count up the convictions later.

  • Anonymous, Too

    --...this isn't the first time you've accused Lomax and Lew of wrongdoing.--

    Truth Hurts-

    Actually, I haven't accused Lew and Lomax of anything. I've simply informed readers of the very damning and uncontested public records--the May 2011 DC Auditor's Report and June 2011 Inspector General's Report--that outline approximately $9.5 million in taxpayer-funded payments were doled out by Lew to Lomax's RBK Landscaping and there is no documentation supporting those payments.

    --So I don't understand the continual harping about Fenty.--

    Who is harping about Fenty--do you see any mention of him in my posts? L and L go back to Tony Williams days on the baseball stadium. It just happens that the lion's share--to date--of Lomax's outrageously large and unsupported benefits happened during the Fenty administration. Those are the facts.

    That Gray and company are willing to look the other way on Lew (I would bet Lomax isn't even on the radar screen), just the way Fenty looked the other way on Neil Albert and all his baggage, indicates that the it's not the players, it's the game.

    --...I suggest you approach the FBI and/or the US ATTY.--

    I got it the first time and agreed.

  • Titllaya

    Marshall Banks retired from Howard University prior to this occurring.

  • Tim S.

    Re: Harry Thomas. You could not make this stuff up. Marshall Banks is a Howard U. professor with a profile on the HU web site who contributed to the 'golf course charity' fraud by Harry Thomas. What is the personal philosophy Banks lists on his profile? I quote:

    God Bless the Child that’s Got His Own…

    And it seems that is just what Thomas did: took public funds designated for children and siphoned it off for himself.

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