Former Beltway Boxer Keely Thompson received a 30-month prison sentence today in U.S. District Court for siphoning off more than $200,000 in grant money to pay for gambling, concert tickets and other personal expenses.
Thompson pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud in June, admitting he had taken $105,000 in grant money that was intended for his boxing and youth center and used the money to gamble in Atlantic City and on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.
The 2 1/2-year sentence is part of a plea agreement that drops similar charges against Thompson's wife, Bianca, who was the deputy director of the boxing and youth center.
The Washington Post quotes Thompson's attorney, Troy W. Poole, as saying prosecutors should have recommended a lesser sentence because his client provided information that led to a separate investigation of a D.C. council member.
But prosecutors countered by saying Thompson’s allegations that he had given the council member $50,000 in bribes in exchange for grant money never checked out. They portrayed Thompson as an unreliable source who gave conflicting accounts in interviews with investigators.
According to the Post, Thompson’s center received more than $1.4 million in city grants from 2004 to 2009. The money came from the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., the office of the deputy mayor for planning and economic development, and the D.C. Council.
The council member was not named in the courtroom, but after the hearing, Thompson identified him as Ward One councilmember Jim Graham. Thompson's Boxing and Youth Center was located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, which is in Graham's ward.
“That’s a lie,” Graham told the Post when asked Wednesday about Thompson’s claims. “I never received one dollar from Keely. I can’t speak for other members of the council, but I know I was the one who blew the whistle on Keely Thompson.”
Thompson was a pro from 1983-1998 and had a record of 17-9-2, 12 KO's. Thompson captured the IBC Lightweight championship with a 12-round split decision over Kent Hardee in DC on September 8, 1990.
For more of the Post's story, here is the link: