Former Community Action CEO Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement Charges
Bill Davis, the longtime head of Community Action of Minneapolis (CAM), pled guilty to 16 counts of fraud and theft on Thursday.
U.S. attorney Andrew Luger said “the evidence of fraud was overwhelming” and Bill Davis ultimately accepted every charge against him.
Bill Davis faces a sentence of up to 20 years on the top counts. Ben Petok, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office, confirmed to TCB that Bill Davis would receive no plea deal his admittance to misspending at least $800,000 of taxpayer money, some of which went toward personal expenses including airline tickets, hotel stays, cars, and a Caribbean cruise.
Since 1990, Bill Davis had been the CEO of CAM, a nonprofit organization and provider of nutrition, energy assistance and weatherization utilities for homes belonging to low-income Minneapolitans. Court filings show Bill Davis began his multi-faceted embezzlement scheme in 2007.
For more than seven years, Bill Davis made charges to a company credit card linked to a fund supported by CenterPoint and Xcel Energy. He used the account as a personal slush fund, as the fund was not subject to the same oversight as CAM’s state and federal grand proceeds.
Prosecutors said the theft even extended to his son, Jordan Davis, a cop with the Minneapolis Police Department. Before his employment with the city, Jordan Davis worked as a manager of a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop near the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. The storefront functioned as a job and entrepreneurial training program offered to underprivileged youth facing employment barriers.
Jordan Davis’ employment with the ice cream store eventually ended in 2008, and he is accused of collecting paychecks after his departure. His father allegedly ordered the paychecks to continue rather than use the money for heating and energy assistance for low-income constituents.
Altogether, Jordan Davis purportedly received biweekly checks for nearly 4 years, amounting to 105 checks worth more than $140,000.
Jordan Davis is expected to stand trial on Monday. He has previously stated that he will plead not guilty, unlike his father. If convicted, Jordan Davis could receive up to 20 years on the mail fraud count and up to 5 years on a conspiracy count.
Bill Davis was suspended from his leadership role at CAM in mid-October 2014. Shortly after, the organization was permanently shut down.
The attorney representing Bill Davis told those at the Thursday morning courtroom hearing that Davis “is very sorry for [his] conduct,” the Star Tribune reports, and that he owns up to his actions “with a heavy heart.”