Corrupt DC Official Convicted In Double-Dipping Scam

Kathryn Watson | Reporter

A former high-ranking aide of three District of Columbia mayors was paid simultaneously as both a contractor and an employee of the local government, and now faces up to three years in prison and a modest fine for tax evasion, according to federal court records.

Warren Graves — who was a key aide to former mayors Marion Barry, Anthony Williams and Vincent Gray — admitted Monday to failing to report fully more than half a million dollars in income from the consulting business he ran while employed with the D.C. government. A Department of Justice (DOJ) news release downplayed the timing of Graves’s consulting work, in which he arranged meetings between D.C. officials and private businesses.

The Washington City Paper obtained court records revealing Graves’s contracting gig and role as chief of staff for the Office of City fAdministrator overlapped for at least two years from 2009 to 2011.

“At various times, defendant (Graves) was a salaried employee, in addition to performing consulting work,” the statement of offense filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said. “In addition, from on or before January 1, 2009 through in and around January 2011, defendant was engaged as an independent contractor by the D.C. government although he performed services and functioned as a salaried employee.”

The DOJ claimed “most of this work was done prior to 2009, but Graves continued to receive payments for prior services in the following years, including in years when he was a District of Columbia government employee.”

The Justice Department mentioned no charges filed against Graves other than falsifying tax returns. (RELATED: D.C. Schools Have More Students Than School-Aged Kids Living In The District)

Graves worked as chief of staff in the Office of City Administrator from 2011 to 2015, but had other various roles in D.C. government before then. Court records claim he began the consulting business in 2005.

Graves faces up to three years in federal prison and a fine of up to $55,000 upon his Oct. 25 sentencing for falsifying his taxes. He must also pay $221,000 he owes in taxes as a part of his plea agreement.

Graves earned a $199,000 salary in 2014, according to D.C. government documents.

Corruption plagued the D.C. mayoral administrations in which Graves worked. Gray dodged corruption charges in an investigation into his all-cash “shadow campaign” that violated campaign finance laws. Williams’s former chief of staff pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a campaign finance corruption scandal.

Barry served three terms as mayor before being arrested and sentenced for smoking cocaine on videotape with a woman working with police. Even so, D.C. residents rewarded Barry with a fourth term.

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Tags : district of columbia marion barry vincent gray
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