May 15, 2017

Minnesota Non-Profit CEO Sentenced to Four Years in Fraud Case

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Bill Davis, who led Minnesota-based nonprofit Community Action of Minneapolis for the past 24 years, has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in orchestrating a fraud scheme. Prosecutors alleged that Davis stole at least $380,000 of the organization’s money and spent it on vacations, cars, luxurious trips with girlfriends, and other personal items and expenses. Davis was further ordered to pay $380,000 in restitution.

As part of the scheme, Davis provided his son, Jordan Davis, a fictitious job managing a Minneapolis ice cream shop funded by the nonprofit. The younger Davis, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted on related charges last summer, and sentenced to two years in prison for his role “minor” role in his father’s fraud scheme.

The elder Davis was charged after a 2013 Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) audit revealed at least $800,000 of unauthorized purchases over the prior two years. In the wake of the audit, Davis sent the MDHS Commissioner false representations regarding his personal travel. He was suspended without pay as CEO of Community Action in October of 2014.

Community Action’s stated mission was to aid those living in poverty in the city of Minneapolis. The agency’s board members included Congressman Keith Ellison (D, MN), who has now resigned the post. The organization has received several grants from the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

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