Alabama Democrat Charged in Scheme To Bilk Money From Youth Nonprofit

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May 24, 2023

A Democratic state representative in Alabama is resigning his seat after he was charged with participating in a conspiracy to steal money from a nonprofit youth baseball league.

Fred Plump, a newly elected Democrat, was charged with and agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice for his role in the kickback scheme, which involved state money allocated to the nonprofit. Each charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Another legislator, unnamed in the charging document for the case, received around $500,000 from the Jefferson County Community Service Fund, which directs state money to programs in Jefferson County. That representative gave $400,000 of the funds to the Piper Davis Youth Baseball League, a nonprofit that Plump oversaw as executive director. Plump then directed $200,000 of the funds back to the unnamed legislator's assistant.

Plump texted the assistant "red alert" after an interview with investigators, according to the charging document. Another Democratic representative, John Rogers, said he is the unnamed representative who gave funds to Plump's organization. He maintains his innocence and said he did not receive kickbacks for directing the money to the nonprofit.

The money was designated for children in Jefferson County, CBS 42 reported:

The Act created the Jefferson County Community Service Fund, also knowm as the "Fund," which was subsidized around $3.6 million annually from the new taxes.

The Act also created the "Committee," which is four members of which were elected by members of the Jefferson County House and Senate delegations. The Committee was responsible for ensuring that the Fund was used only for the purposes set forth in the Act, which included to support public entities and projects such as school, libraries, museums, parks, zoos, neighborhood associations, athletic facilities, youth sports associations, road construction, the performing arts, police departments, the sheriff’s office, fire departments and certain nonprofit entities.

During each fiscal year from 2018 to 2022, each representative was given approximately $100,000 and each senator was given approximately $240,000 from the fund.

Representatives and senators then are allowed to distribute the funds to initiatives of their choice.

Published under: Alabama