Former Gang Consultant Sued In US

January 26, 2012

US Federal prosecutors say New Jersey community group Women in Support of the Million Man March improperly spent nearly $200,000 in grant money — including taking 26 Bermudians to a bowling alley and a pro basketball game.

The United States has sued Newark-based Women In Support of the Million Man March organiser Frederica Bey and former Bermuda Government gang consultant DeLacy Davis in Federal Court.

In 2006 the Bermuda Government had paid Mr. Davis’ private corporation approximately $87,500 for consulting with them on gang issues — but US prosecutors allege he was also compensated for some of the same services by the New Jersey charity.

In 2006 then Home Affairs Minister Randy Horton announced he would be spending a total of $350,000 on an ambitious anti-gang initiative for Bermuda to be drawn up former New Jersey police officer Mr. Davis.

That idea was later scrapped and Mr. Davis left Bermuda abruptly.

Women In Support of the Million March is a US nonprofit organisation established after the Million Man March in 1995. The Million Man March was a call for black empowerment and responsibility.

The organisation’s “self-described mission is ‘to create, promote and develop educational, cultural, civic and athletic programs in our society in an effort to enhance and empower the quality of life for the people in the Greater Newark Community’; and its ‘goals and objectives’ are ‘to take back the streets of our communities, increase health awareness, create affordable housing, focus on economic development, improve the educational system, and increase voter registration,’” according to a recently filed complaint, which refers to the group as WISOMMM.

The defendants received a grant through the US Department of Justice, its Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, to fund its “‘Boycott Crime Campaign’ [BCC] — a programme ostensibly designed to organise and fund after-school activities for at-risk youth in the Newark area.” according to the complaint.

Former Bermuda Gang Consultant DeLacy Davis Talking To New Jersey Students

WISOMMM and its executive director, defendant Ms Bey, were aware, by letter, that the grant for had stipulations, the complaint states. It required semi-annual progress reports and quarterly financial reports, and the award of $345,325 was “subject to all administrative and financial requirements, including the timely submission of all financial and programmatic reports, resolution of all interim audit findings and the maintenance of a minimum level of cash-on-hand.”

But US Attorney Paul Fishman, who signed the complaint, says more than $197,477 of the grant was spent on items “unrelated to the BCC’s grant-approved activities” in 2006.

“The original grant programme director told federal investigators that before she was removed from her position, she became aware that certain portions of those transferred funds were used to cover WISOMMM’s own debts, operating costs, or expenditures,” the complaint states.

“WISOMMM and Bey have never provided an accounting of how these funds were used or spent.”

Prosecutors say WISOMMM claimed in a grant proposal that it need to rent a space for BCC and that the estimated cost of rent and expenses would be $99,477.

However, “These rent-related or facilities fees were wildly inflated from the outset, because WISOMMM owned the space free and clear, and there was thus little or no need for BCC to pay ‘rent’ for space within WISOMMM’s facilities,” the complaint states.

It continues: “Nonetheless, WISOMMM drafted a lease pursuant to which BCC paid WISOMMM approximately $76,400 in grant funds. WISOMMM later created a ‘lease addendum’ for approximately $19,000.

“The lease between WISOMMM and BCC purported to give the BCC complete and exclusive use and control of WISOMMM property at 15 James Street in Newark.

“Yet WISOMMM continued to use that the property primarily for its normal, non-grant-related activities; in particular, WISOMMM continued to use, and charge third parties to use, some or all of this space for banquet or party-type events.

“In fact, the BCC had no dedicated space within the WISOMMM facility. The entire WISOMMM facility was a multi-use property, small portions of which were devoted to BCC activities on occasion, as needed and if available.”

Prosecutors say WISOMMM and Bey were “aided” in “misspending and mis-accounting” by defendant Mr. Davis, a former director of the East Orange Police Athletic League [EOPAL] and retired police officer.

In April 2006, WISOMMM paid EOPAL $4,050, which in turn compensated Mr. Davis, for nine “conflict resolution” workshops he was to conduct at BCC, according to the complaint.

It continues: “In fact, however, Davis billed WISOMMM $4,050.00 for a ten-day ‘workshops and training’ event whose attendees were 26 Bermudians and only about 15 EOPAL youth and staff.

“The Bermudians flew into Newark, and were taken to some cultural and sociological events, as well as to restaurants, the movies, an aquarium, shopping trips, a bowling alley, and a professional basketball game.

“Not only were these activities largely unrelated to the activities described in the BCC grant and provided primarily to non-local participants, but Davis was also separately compensated for conducting them.

“In about October 2006, the Bermuda government paid Davis’ private corporation approximately $87,500 for ‘consulting’ with them on gang issues. This payment was apparently based at least in part on Davis’ ‘work’ on the same ‘workshops and training’ for which he received compensation from WISOMMM via the BCC grant.

“On the second such occasion, WISOMMM paid Davis $20,000.00. The EOPAL invoiced $20,000 to BCC, but has not justified the payment of the $20,000 to Davis.

“Upon information and belief, Davis used some or all of the BCC funds he received to pay for various gifts and loans to EOPAL, including a June 19, 2006 loan of $13,000; a June 21, 2006 donation of $50,000; a September 28, 2006 loan of $27,900; a December 1, 2006 loan of $2,200; and a December 21, 2006 payment by Davis of a $13,000 tax lien on EOPAL property.

“Defendants WISOMMM and Bey have never explained or provided justification for these payments to Davis, or the exact nature of the relationship between Davis, WISOMMM and the EOPAL at the time of such payments.

“Davis was subsequently hired to be the principal of the WISOMMM charter school.”

According to Ms Bey’s grant proposal, the BCC was “supposed to have two dedicated employees whose salaries were to be paid using grant funding,” the complaint states.

But prosecutors say Ms Bey simply added the titles of “Project Director” and “Programme Coordinator” to two full-time employees of WISOMMM, a mother and daughter.

Despite their new titles, the mother and daughter spent most of their time working in the WISOMMM Childcare Center, while being paid salaries of $50,000 and $35,000, plus benefits, with grant funds, according to the complaint.

The mother, whose salary was $50,000, with medical and dental benefits, “continued to work nearly exclusively in her capacity as a WISOMMM childcare staffer,” the complaint states.

“[The mother's] full salary was paid out of grant funds even though much of her day was spent working for or at WISOMMM’s Childcare Center – typically from about 10:00 a.m. until school dismissal in the afternoon. …

“[The mother] maintained a single filing cabinet with BCC-related documents, as well as several electronic BCC-related files or documents on her computer. These documents comprised the entirety of the BCC’s administrative records.”

Prosecutors say the mother left WISOMMM after “an angry confrontation” with Bey, who transferred $40,000 in grant money to cover WISOMMM’s payroll and then transferred another $50,000 without informing the mother, who was nominally in control of the money.

The mother “was not replaced, and her functions were absorbed primarily by Bey. The residual of [the mother's] salary and benefits, since she was not replaced, should be accounted for and repaid,” according to the complaint.

Prosecutors say WISOMMM also overcharged the BCC more than $3,000 for one year of insurance, and requested grant money for computer software that it never purchased.

Finally, prosecutors say: “Had plaintiffs received the accurate and complete reports required as conditions of the grant, they would have learned of defendants’ various misappropriations and misuses of grant funds much earlier, and would have revoked and terminated the grant.”

The US is seeking damages for violations of the False Claims Act, common law fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, payment by mistake and civil conspiracy.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Guy Carri says:

    The U.S. must have a “better” contract that what Bermuda had with Curtis.

  2. wandering says:

    all those involved in bring this Mr. Davis to Bermuda should have to pay the public back by putting it back into the education system….. our schools are financially in some deep serious situations…. One school lost 29 staff due to last year’s cuts, the schools are not able to supply books…. is this what we want or need for our children…

    Congratulations to Berkeley Institute in their stand against drugs/violence/weapons…. – excellent meeting last night… Proud to be a Berkeley parent.

  3. MinorMatters says:

    Bermudians duped again…by their own and then some foreigners…par for the course.

  4. Family Man says:

    Wow, reading some of those accusations…. where have we heard those before?

    In Bermuda they’re termed “unethical but not illegal”.

  5. 1minute says:

    So who were the Bermudians?

    • Johnny says:

      This article was about mr. Davis being sued in the US by the US govt., not about Bermuda.

  6. U Were Thinking It says:

    So govt paid “gang expert” $87,500 to come to Bermuda and speakand do works shops??? Am i missing something here.GOVT of Bermuda listen here….how stupid are you really!!! So what we should be telling gang members is to call themselves gang experts do a speech here a workshop there…and get paid!!! And futherore i don’t understand why they bring in so many ‘gang experts’. Bermuda’s gang problem in here…if u want to speak to a expert speak to any local that lives in that area.They would be more than happy to get that $87,500 check in the mail..remember “Buy Bermuda” applies to govt as well!!

  7. Mermaid says:

    So another misuse of our money! Before issueing any more of our funds I think it should be mendatory that the politicians should have a money management degree because this is happening too often and with the economy the way it is, we cannot afford to waste ANY money.

    Waiting to see the outcome on the new local organisation which has been funded for the same thing. Who can we trust?

  8. Politicians suck azz in Bermuda!!!!!

  9. Hmmm says:

    How often is Whites island in use by CARTEL ????

    I keep looking over there, but see nothing.

  10. Duhh says:

    And we wonder where all the money is going “Consultants” for this and that complete bs u lawmakers are the true criminals wasting our money to get somebody tell u something u already know