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Press Release

Former Head of Non-Profit Organization Pleads Guilty in Theft of More Than $250,000

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Took Money Meant for People With HIV and AIDS

            WASHINGTON – Blair Wynkoop, 58, the former executive director of a non-profit organization, pled guilty today to a charge stemming from the theft of at least $250,000 from the charity, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Norbert E. Vint, Deputy Inspector General for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

            Wynkoop, of Portland, Oregon, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. The Honorable Reggie B. Walton scheduled sentencing for March 17, 2017. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Wynkoop faces a likely range of 24 to 46 months in prison and potential financial penalties. He has agreed to pay $425,249 in restitution to a number of charitable organizations and must pay a forfeiture money judgment.

             According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, Wynkoop became executive director of the charity, identified in court documents as “Company A,” in 2008. The non-profit sought to address the needs of people with HIV or AIDS. It operated as a consortium of independent charities and received charitable donations itself and functioned as a pass-through for donations to its member charities.

            At the outset of his tenure as executive director, Wynkoop caused “Company A” to make many of the required distributions of contributions to the member charities. However, from 2010 through 2012, he did not distribute all of the money and used funds for his own benefit.

            While he was executive director, Wynkoop wrote checks and made wire transfers from the bank accounts of “Company A” to himself. For some, but not all, of these payments, he provided the non-profit’s part-time bookkeeper with justifications for expenses; many of these justifications were fabricated and designed to conceal the fraud. In the course of the scheme, Wynkoop defrauded the non-profit of more than $250,000.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Deputy Inspector General Vint expressed appreciation for the work of Special Agent Christopher Sulhoff and others who assisted with investigating the case from the OPM Inspector General’s Office. They also commended the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Document Management Analyst John Lowell and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Swanton, who is handling forfeiture issues. Finally, they acknowledged the work of Peter C. Lallas, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated December 12, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-239