The former head of a Philadelphia nonprofit for at-risk youth was sentenced Wednesday for a wire-fraud scheme that saw him fraudulently cash checks to benefit himself and his organization.
William Mackey, who ran the City Wide Youth Leadership Academy (CWYLA), was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $142,000, according to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The check-cashing occurred between 2006 and 2009, when Mackey, among other things, cashed checks that were not meant for him to obtain services for himself and CWYLA. This included a $24,000 check in 2007 that the Philadelphia School District mistakenly sent to the organization's former fiscal agent.
He must report to prison by Oct. 15.
Mackey apologized for his crimes and asked U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis to sentence him to house arrest and probation. He tearfully told the judge that he did not want to let down a 7-year old boy named Khalil, whom he watches over after his biological mother abandoned him. Judge Davis declined his request, saying "Running good programs and helping people doesn't give you authority to do whatever you want," the judge said. "If you're going to be a leader, you need to be responsible and do the right things."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela, in arguing for the prison sentence, said that Mackey had "betrayed" the trust of his community and that his crimes were intentional, not the result of a lack of knowledge. Federal Defender Maranna Meehan countered that although he was a "flawed" guardian of CWYLA's finances, Mackey was a positive role model for youth in North Philadelphia, and that he did not live a life of luxury.
You can read the full story in The Philadelphia Inquirer.