Kellie Williams, a.k.a Laura Winslow of Family Matters, is the subject of speculation concerning a $25,000 kickback to disgraced Harry Thomas Jr. In 2006, Thomas was elected to represent Ward 5 on the D.C. Council. The Washington Post says he resigned [earlier this year] when federal prosecutors accused him of embezzling more than $350,000 in government funds intended for youth programs and filing false tax returns. The next day, he pled guilty to the charges. Last month, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Now, LooseLips.com says they have reason to believe Kellie (a D.C. native who returned to the region and started a youth arts training group that offered summer courses) may have been involved in the scandal. LooseLips says:
An examination of court records, tax filings, and emails obtained through several Freedom of Information Act requests raises the question of whether Kellie Williams, the actress who played Laura Winslow, is the unnamed “INDIVIDUAL #1” who prosecutors say in court records used a youth arts program to help Thomas steal city money.
In total, Thomas stole more than $350,000 by funneling the cash first through the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation—a city-funded nonprofit—and then to three different organizations, which shuffled money back to him. Aiding Thomas in his crimes, court papers say, were four unnamed heads of those organizations. Listed in court records, they are INDIVIDUAL #1 through INDIVIDUAL #4. Since Thomas’ guilty plea, INDIVIDUALs #2, #3, and #4 have all pleaded guilty for their roles in helping Thomas steal.
Left unaccounted for, so far, is INDIVIDUAL #1, who Thomas swore in court gave him a $25,000 kickback on a grant from the CYITC.
The story as they tell it is pretty compelling, but it is still just speculation and LooseLips admits there is “no definitive proof in the court records, tax filings, and emails.” So, what they see as evidence of Kellie’s involvement could still turn out to be just coincidence. But there are quite a few of those like a $120,000 grant Thomas pushed to secure for INDIVIDUAL #1 in summer 2008. According to the site:
“The CYITC’s tax records for 2008 don’t show Williams being paid $120,000. But they do show a $120,000 payment to Prosperity Media, a D.C.-based nonprofit that partnered with Kellie Williams Programs. (On its old website, Kellie Williams Programs asks potential donors to write checks to Prosperity Media with a note on the check’s memo line saying that the money is for Kellie Williams Programs.)”
There’s also some funny math with a few grants and a description of INDIVIDUAL #1’s organization as a “for-profit organization” that “conducted arts-oriented youth programs.” Williams’ Programs offer youth activities in “Theatre, Music, Visual Arts, and Dance.”
If these aren’t just coincidences, Kellie could be in some very hot water. We definitely hope she didn’t do that, but so far she hasn’t answered the paper’s request for comment.
Alissa is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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