David Griffiths of White Plains, who was executive director of the Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services Inc., a now non-operating not-for-profit corporation in the Bronx, has been sentenced to five months in prison for making false statements to the government, obstruction of justice and mail fraud.
“David Griffiths told lie upon lie to cover up his misuse of government grants intended to benefit an important neighborhood enhancement program. And for those crimes, he will now be punished,” said Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Just under a year ago, a jury took just two hours to convict Griffiths, 67, of lying to cover up the fact that he had taken taxpayer dollars from tye not-for-profit Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services, which was in place to provide services to Bronx residents in need.
The non-profit organization provided programs and services for young people and for senior citizens. Griffiths was found guilty in Manhattan federal court after a four-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, who sentenced him today in federal court.
Griffiths had entered a guilty plea in 2011, but withdrew that plea to go to trial.
Griffiths was accused of taking nearly $200,000 from the government-funded organization without authorization, and then lying to FBI agents investigating the organization. The organization, known as "NETS," became the subject of an FBI probe in 2008. Griffiths led NETS since November 2003.
In September 2010, Griffiths attempted to obtain additional funding from a New York State agency. He was accused of seeking the money under false pretenses by misrepresenting to the agency that his not-for-profit and its officers and directors had not been the subject of a criminal investigation, a civil investigation, and/or unsatisfied tax liens andjudgments for the past five years.
At the time, Griffiths knew that both he and the not-for-profit were under investigation by the FBI as well as by the state Attorney General’s Office, and that NETS had unsatisfied tax liens and judgments against it.
Griffiths was ordered to pay $10,300 in fines and court assessments in addition to serving five months in prison.
NETS' government funding was primarily through grants obtained by then Assemblyman Peter Rivera. Griffiths was treasurer of Rivera's campaign organization.