DC man sentenced for $500K scheme involving city employee

A D.C. man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison after stealing more than $560,000 from a company that did business with the District.

John Woods, 57, was a consultant for a company that worked with the city’s Department of Human Resources. In an announcement Friday, Woods pleaded guilty to running a scheme where he fraudulently collected checks intended for that company.

Woods intentionally failed to submit invoices to the city, which made the company believe the city wasn’t paying its bills, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. When his firm called for a stop in the work, Woods is accused of stepping in and working out an agreement with D.C. on behalf of the company, without the firm’s knowledge.

Woods admitted to then hiring contractors to complete the work under the agreement, and deposited more than $1 million in checks from the city in an account he controlled between March 2015 and August 2017.

To keep his scheme under wraps, prosecutors said Woods paid more than $140,000 in bribes to Latasha Moore, 38, an employee of the city’s human resources department.

Moore served as the main contact for the firm, and kept complaints or suspicions about the company from reaching others in D.C. government. According to prosecutors, this included withholding complaints about contractors showing up late for jobs and not attending training sessions at all.

Moore pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme last year and will be sentenced in January.

Woods, who pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, must pay more than $560,000 in restitution to his former employer. He will also be placed on three years of supervised release.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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