Millicent West pleads guilty in tax fraud case

Millicent West pleaded guilty in the Harry Thomas corruption case. (photo courtesy Homeland Security and Emergency Management )

The former head of D.C's Homeland Security Office pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges Friday in connection with a youth grant program connected to disgraced former D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas.

Millicent D. West, who is also the former director and CEO of the Children & Youth Investment Trust Corp., pleaded guilty in D.C. federal court to one count of attempting to interfere with the administration of the Internal Revenue Service laws.

West, 43, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 24 and faces a maximum sentence of three years and a $250,000 fine. Authorities say, however, the parties have agreed to a sentence of six months to a year and a $20,000 fine.

West is the fifth person to plead guilty in connection with the Thomas corruption case. The Children Youth and Investment Trust Corporation paid out $400,000 in phony invoices that ended up in Thomas' pockets.

Thomas was later convicted of theft and sentenced to serve 38 months.

“Millicent West was by all accounts a dedicated public servant who was truly committed to the mission of serving young people in the District of Columbia,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen. “Unfortunately, as we have seen too many times, she agreed to break the law to appease a crooked public official who was intent on carrying out a criminal scheme.”