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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Former Head of Non-Profit Organization Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Theft of More Than $400,000

Defendant Took Money Meant for People With HIV and AIDS

            WASHINGTON – Blair Wynkoop, 59, the former executive director of a non-profit organization, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison on a charge stemming from the theft of more than $400,000 from the charity, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Norbert E. Vint, Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

 

            Wynkoop, of Portland, Oregon, pled guilty in December 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. He was sentenced by the Honorable Reggie B. Walton. Following his prison term, Wynkoop will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay $385,564 in restitution to a number of charitable organizations and $443,996 in a forfeiture money judgment. While on supervised release, Wynkoop is barred from having a job that gives him unmonitored access to financial accounts. He also can establish no new credit accounts while he is on release.

 

            According to a statement of offense submitted at the time of the guilty plea, 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 $400,000.

 

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu and Acting 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 handled forfeiture issues. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter C. Lallas, who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
17-278
Updated December 19, 2017