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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Friday, May 10, 2013

Executive Director Of Bronx Not-For-Profit Sentenced To Five Months In Prison For Fraud And Obstruction Of Justice

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DAVID GRIFFITHS, the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services, Inc. (“NETS”), was sentenced today to five months in prison for mail fraud and for making false statements to the government and obstruction of justice. GRIFFITHS was convicted on May 30, 2012, following a month-long jury trial. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein presided over the trial, and also imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “David Griffiths told lie upon lie to cover up his misuse of government grants intended to benefit an important neighborhood enhancement program. And for those crimes, he will now be punished.”

According to the evidence introduced at trial and statements made in court:

Since November 2003, GRIFFITHS served as the Executive Director of NETS, which is a not-for-profit corporation located in the Bronx that received almost all of its funding from government grants. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) began investigating the not-for-profit and its use of the government funds it received.

In June 2009, GRIFFITHS knowingly provided the FBI with documents that contained materially false statements and representations in response to a subpoena issued by a grand jury sitting in the Southern District of New York. The materially false statements and representations were made by GRIFFITHS in purported minutes of meetings of the NETS Board of Directors, and related to alleged authorizations he had obtained from the NETS Board to take certain payments as purported salary from NETS. GRIFFITHS provided those purported minutes to the FBI in an attempt to mislead the FBI and to obstruct its investigation. Specifically, he attempted to cover-up tens of thousands of dollars he had taken from NETS with no authorization and his scheme to take almost $200,000 more.

In September 2010, GRIFFITHS attempted to obtain additional grant money from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York on behalf of NETS under false and fraudulent pretenses. Specifically, in an application he mailed to the Authority’s office in Albany, GRIFFITHS falsely stated that neither he nor NETS and its officers and directors had been the subject of a criminal investigation, a civil investigation, or unsatisfied tax liens and judgments for the past five years. In fact, when GRIFFITHS made these misrepresentations, he knew that he and NETS were under investigation by the FBI as well as by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and that NETS had unsatisfied tax liens and judgments against it.

In addition to the prison term, GRIFFITHS, 67, of White Plains, New York, was sentenced to two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a mandatory special assessment of $300.

Mr. Bharara thanked the FBI for its assistance on this case.

This case is being handled by the Office's Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie H. Cohen and Justin Anderson are in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
Updated May 13, 2015