Former Officers of Non-Profit Dedicated to Helping Children Plead Guilty to Using Organization’s Funds for Personal Gain

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

            WASHINGTON – The former Executive Director and the former Director of Operations and Finance of the now-defunct non-profit organization DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (DC Trust) each pleaded guilty today to one felony charge relating to their personal use of the non-profit’s funds, which were intended for youth scholarship programs.

            Edward Davies, 51, of Columbia, Maryland, and Earl Hamilton, 53, of Riviera Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to credit card fraud. They are to be sentenced on April 7, 2023, by the Honorable Reggie B. Walton. The plea agreements call for both defendants to make restitution for their criminal acts.

            The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector General for the District of Columbia, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, and Terry Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern Region, U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General.

            According to the plea documents, from at least November 2015 to February 2016, Davies and Hamilton perpetrated a scheme in which they obtained and used for personal benefit, DC Trust credit cards and a check card – whose bills were paid for by DC Trust funds. The DC Trust was a non-profit organization, created in 1999, to serve as an intermediary to connect philanthropists, government leaders, youth advocates, and representatives from the business community in order to support programs to benefit the children of the District of Columbia. Davies was the Executive Director and Hamilton was the Director of Operations and Finance. The organization was dissolved in late 2016.

            The diverted funds, provided to the non-profit by the government of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Education, were intended to provide scholarship programs for D.C. youth. According to the plea documents, Davies and Hamilton used DC Trust credit cards and a check card to make hundreds of personal purchases, for expenses such as meals, automobile repairs, and personal travel for themselves, their family members, and their friends. In total, Davies admitted to stealing at least $111,000 and Hamilton admitted to stealing at least $44,000 by using DC Trust credit cards and a check card for personal expenses.

            The D.C. Office of the Inspector General, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General have been investigating this case.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Rakoczy and Diane Lucas, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Amanda Rohde and Lisa Abbe.