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Former Deputy Director of New York Head Start Programs Sentenced To Prison For Embezzlement

LawFuel.com –
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, and ROSE GILL HEARN, the
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation
(“DOI”), announced today that HUGH BLACKBURN, a former deputy
director of two New York City-based Head Start programs, was
sentenced to 30 months in prison in Manhattan federal court for
embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in Head Start funds
from two Head Start programs.

According to the Indictment filed in this case and
statements made at BLACKBURN’s sentencing before United States
District Judge PAUL A. CROTTY:

HUGH BLACKBURN was the Deputy Director of two nonprofit
organizations — La Peninsula, from 1989 to 1996, and St.
Albans, from 1999 to 2007 — that operated federally-funded Head
Start programs in the Bronx and Queens, respectively. BLACKBURN
was responsible for fiscal operations at both programs.
Beginning in 1999, BLACKBURN, through two shell entities that he
controlled — “DACO Sales & Service” (“DACO”) and “DSA
Enterprises” (“DSA”) –- arranged to receive purported vendor
payments from La Peninsula and St. Albans, which he used to pay
personal expenses. In particular, DACO and DSA billed St. Albans
and La Peninsula for goods and services which were either never
provided, or were provided at inflated prices. Thus, from 1999
to 2006, St. Albans and La Peninsula paid DACO and DSA more than
$1.4 million dollars, more than $600,000 of which BLACKBURN
diverted for his own and his wife’s personal use, and for
expenses of his children with two other women he was involved
with.

BLACKBURN, 52, of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty on
April 14, 2009, to one count of embezzlement of federal funds.
In addition to the prison term, Judge CROTTY ordered
BLACKBURN to pay restitution in the amount of $692,428 to DOI and
3 years of supervised release.

Mr. DASSIN thanked DOI for its work in the
investigation.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Public
Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorney RUA KELLY is
in charge of the prosecution.
09-214 ###

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