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Harry Thomas Pleads Guilty

1/6/2012, 1:40 p.m.

Former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., accused of embezzling $353,000 in city funds and filing false tax returns, pleaded guilty in U. S. Court Friday.

The 51-year-old, twice-elected councilman who represented Ward 5, admitted to a judge that he stole the money which had been earmarked for youth sports programs.

He used the money for his own personal gain - such as purchasing an expensive SUV and motorcycle, playing golf and taking lavish vacations.

Thomas, who had three years left on his council representation, also admitted to receiving kickbacks from people aligned with businesses he set up -- including his nonprofit Team Thomas from which public funds were diverted.

Sentencing is set for early May, and if convicted, Thomas could receive a little over three years of prison time.