back to article Student charity's ex-IT boss in the cooler for stealing $1.3m through fake tech contracts

A former IT executive has been ordered to spend the next 45 months behind bars after he stole $1.3m from a charity in Virginia, US. Demetrius Arnold Washington, 51, of Louisa, must also pay back the mountain of dosh that he funneled into his pockets via bogus tech consultancies. He was jailed after pleading guilty to mail …

  1. Robert Moore

    Stealing from a charity..

    That is lower than low. I hope this vermin never works in IT again.

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Stealing from a charity..

      I'm torn between having work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week on hell desk or 12 hour 7 day shifts at walmart .

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: helldesk

        Depends how hellish it is. If your company provides a shit service , and you take all the flak , go Wallmart.

        If you are actually able to help people , maybe stay and wait for that "helldesk supervisor" promotion.

        examples of shit service are callers ringing saying things like:

        "I'm reported this lots of times before and nothing ever gets done"

        "they come round , fix it and it breaks immediately"

        "this issue has gone on an on , I'm at my wits end! how can i do my job!"

        "what am I paying my money for?"

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Stealing from a charity..

      Stealing from charities is more common that people think. Usually, the charity quietly fires the embezzler and does not call the cops, because they know the bad publicity will hurt fundraising. Of 6 non-profits I have direct knowledge of the internal workings of, 3 caught embezzlers who'd stolen money in the 5-6 figure range when they had full audits. In all cases, they let the perps walk away to avoid bad publicity. (Hint: Entries in the books for "miscellaneous expenses" should be a red flag at any time. Every entry should specifically say what the expense was & be backed up by receipts. Even with receipts, every vendor should be "validated" and as part of that, copies of it's papers of incorporation should be gathered and it's officers & board looked at. It's not uncommon for people to create fake companies, often in their wife or a relative's name, etc. Proper audits don't stop at arithmetic.)

      The article is missing the most important information, namely, how was he caught? Was he ratted out (say, via a ex-wife)? Was he caught when the charity had a professional 3rd party audit? (You'd be surprised how infrequently charities have real audits.)

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Stealing from a charity..

        Dear Mr Earth, yes, my experience tallies, although the embezzlers in the charities I worked for took far less, mostly because we had far less. I had to do the books for a couple of months to cover a long illness and began to go back and thought 'hmmmm' ad did some checking, and then notified the trustees. They got in some proper auditors (at last) and someone was let go, as you say, without penalty. And went and got a job at a local council, and of course the references from us were glowing.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Stealing from a charity..

          "and of course the references from us were glowing."

          This is the root of ongoing problems.

          Unless you write an impossibly glowing reference which means that someone will phone up to check on said reference.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Stealing from a charity..

      if you look at most charities, they're setup for the benefit of various individuals (Charities can pay as much as they like to who they like, they just can't make a profit)

      His mistake was not doing this all above the table.

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    References ?

    I'd love to see his work history - this sort of behavior is rarely seen in isolation ... I'd put money on him having done this before with his previous employers.

  3. WolfFan Silver badge

    it gets worse

    M'man's name is 'Washington'. There are very few white Washingtons in the US. (I know four guys named Washington. All four are black...) He went to Bowie State, a 'historically black' university. Odds are excellent that he's black.

    The charity in question helps mostly poor minority (in Virginia, that would be mostly black) students.

    M'man stole from needy minority students. Worse, he was, undoubtedly, supposed to be a role model for said needy minority students.

    Saying that he's scum is an insult to scum.

    1. John McCallum
      Megaphone

      Re: it gets worse

      unfortunately scum like cream floats to the top.

    2. kain preacher

      Re: it gets worse

      You know I really wanted to argue with you but in combination with his first name Slim chance that he is not black.

  4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Why is a charity paying ANYONE $167000 ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why is a charity paying ANYONE $167000 ?"

      Peanuts in the US.

      We have a thing here called United Way, where your employer intimidates in to contributing to the "charity" which pays his buddies big salaries.

      Try $400,000 on for size.

    2. Chozo

      To understand why the top level jobs at a charity organisation pay so well simply replace the word "Charity" with the phrase "Emotional extortion racket" ;)

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      This is a professional, not a volunteer. (And apparently a fraudster.)

      If the charity wants a professional level of IT service then they have to pay market rate for an employee who can function at that level. Although I'm not sure how much they need to spend on IT to run an office anyway... apparently they spent somewhat over $1 million dollars and that was the problem.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: This is a professional, not a volunteer. (And apparently a fraudster.)

        Thats the highest by far salary I've ever heard of in I.T. . must be about 120k in ukp?

        none of those hi falutin jobs you see on el'regs right hand column are that high.

        Sure maybe some contractors make more - but an actual salary?

        Unless its completely none technical - if he was "Director of I.T" then sure i could see that - cos obviously someone in the I.T dept who knows fuck all about I.T should be on 50k more than the highest skilled I.T staff member.

        ...but this scumbag was lauded as some kind of expert

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Upon investigation -

          U.S. salary may be higher, but $167,000 is "high end" for an "IT Director" (my choice of title) according to,

          http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Information_Technology_(IT)_Director/Salary

          That information includes bonuses (hmm...), maybe doesn't include medical and dental insurance.

          So maybe indeed he was getting overpaid (but he didn't think so). I expect a well run charity's salary to be fair but not - as this chart puts it - "generous".

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Or will you say it is not the same and perfectly acceptable? Let us see what you're thinking.

    Here's an interesting similarity in a parallel universe with a completely different reward outcome/punishment sentence ........ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-12/supervisor-massive-fraud-wells-fargo-leaves-bank-125-million-bonus

    Don't be shy now. Speak up please. Is the law and justice system fair and fit and proper for future Greater IntelAIgent Game purpose or a rigged enterprise and therefore quite criminal itself?

    And does media aid and abet with its non investigative reporting?

    1. Bob Rocket

      Re: Or will you say it is not the same and perfectly acceptable? Let us see what you're thinking.

      He is a criminal because he didn't share the spoils, she is a hero because she implemented plausible deniability.

      (his was only a million, hers was hundreds of millions)

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Or will you say it is not the same and perfectly acceptable? Let us see what you're thinking.

      @aMfM

      *applauds*

      I think we have some people who've failed the Turing Test. And It's not aMfM.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Or will you say it is not the same and perfectly acceptable? Let us see what you're thinking.

        I think we have some people who've failed the Turing Test. And It's not aMfM. …. Brewster's Angle Grinder

        Quite so, Brewster's Angle Grinder, and that renders them extraordinarily vulnerable to Alien Capture with Leading Future Protocols cloaked in Astute HyperRadioProActive Dynamic Narratives ……. XSSXXXXScripture.

        And what is one to make of the following tall tale and novel platform for Advanced IntelAIgent dDevelopment? …… https://www.rt.com/uk/359057-pentagon-ufo-hunters-soho/

        There’s nowt as queer as folk, and aint that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  6. M7S

    "he was an expert in something else: fraud"

    methinks perhaps not

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    Contractor

    "In another instance, Washington billed the foundation double for services provided by a legitimate contractor, then paid that contractor the original amount and pocketed the other half for himself"

    He obviously learn from all the companies that act as middleman for contractors in the UK (though they will often take more than half)

    When I used to do contracting work, when it was a scenario where it was via an intermediary, as soon as I got to know the people I was working under well I would tell them how much I was actually getting from the middle man company - opened their eyes to how much they were being ripped off as they were often under the naive impression most of the cash they shelled out went to me.

  8. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Is this a general accounting problem?

    About 20 years ago I'd been playing around with ERM and ERP and we could pretty much track where every item in a box of product we sold came from, when and who ordered it. 15 years before that I could look at a 10,000 transistor design for a chip and tell you the value 15 parameters to around 1% precision for every 1/100th of a microsecond of any activity the chip was to undergo pretty much by clicking on the screen.

    Accounting and contracts should be just as open as transparent to those with oversight - click on a payment and match it to a point in a contract etc etc.

    Never seems to get any traction from those who should really want to know for some reason.

  9. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Not the first case of this:

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/07/22/it_boss_charged_with_duping_employer/

  10. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Well

    The United Way of the Washington, DC, area got a remarkable amount stolen by its chief about 20 years ago.

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