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The U.S. Attorney’s office has just charged Marshall Banks for having knowledge of and concealing disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.’s theft of public funds. Banks is the president of the Langston 21st Century Foundation, a nonprofit that Thomas used to do most of his stealing.
You may recall from last summer’s civil suit by Attorney General Irv Nathan that Thomas directed a $400,000 earmark for “youth baseball” to Langston 21, then had the organization pay him most of that money, which Thomas spent on an Audi and other luxuries. Banks cooperated with that investigation and agreed, along with Langston 21’s other principal Jimmy Garvin, to pay the city back $86,000.
Today’s charge comes in the form of an information filing, which indicates that Banks is probably agreeing to a plea deal. The technical charge against Banks is a “misprision of a felony,” which is itself a felony not to be punished by more than three years in prison. His attorney was not immediately available for comment. Banks is set to appear in court tomorrow.
That the feds are going after Banks indicates that U.S. Attorney Ron Machen isn’t going to go soft on those who helped Thomas steal. Today’s charge ought to be worrisome to the others involved in the Thomas fisaco, especially the two other unnamed organizations that court records indicate gave Thomas kickbacks.
Here’s the (rather boring) charging document:
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