The former longtime head of a charity serving low-income Maine residents pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling $900,000 from the organization to cover mortgage payments, gambling debts, and other personal expenses, reports The Portland Press Herald.
Thomas Nelson served as executive director of York County Community Action Corp. in Sanford, Me., for 21 years before stepping down in February 2010.
Prosecutors said in court filings that beginning in 2004, Mr. Nelson diverted charity funds to another, now-defunct nonprofit for which he was treasurer and arranged overpayments to a consulting firm that gave him kickbacks.
Mr. Nelson pleaded guilty to counts of embezzlement, conspiracy, tax evasion, and signing a false tax return. Under the plea agreement he will pay $1.2-million in restitution to the York County charity and $150,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.