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AG charges ex-DPW official, 2 nonprofit execs - abc27 WHTM

AG charges ex-DPW official, 2 nonprofit execs

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Left to right: Bryon Noon, Lawrence Yancey and Anthony McNeil. Left to right: Bryon Noon, Lawrence Yancey and Anthony McNeil.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The state attorney general's office has announced criminal charges against a former high-ranking official in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and two executives of a Philadelphia nonprofit.

Bryon Noon, the former director of DPW's disbanded Bureau of Employment and Training Programs Division, was charged with three felony counts each of theft by deception and conspiracy and a single count of conflict of interest.

Noon, 45, of Lancaster, was tasked with disbursing millions of dollars each year to welfare-to-work organizations. He allegedly enabled the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers to operate with no fiscal oversight, prosecutors said.

According to the investigating grand jury, Noon surrounded himself with inexperienced or subservient staff who would not question him.

Prosecutors said the nonprofit's chief executive officer, Lawrence Yancey, and chief financial officer Anthony McNeil misused $1.25 million in state and federal grant funding that had been designated to help fathers improve their lives for the benefit of their children.

"This is also a case about arrogance, about a former public official gone bad, and about the greed of those we charged today," Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a statement. "They stole from the very fathers and ultimately the children they had a duty to assist."

Yancey, who also went by the name Kofi Asante, allegedly used the money to fund lavish trips to Ghana, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as personal expenses including dry cleaning, flowers, jewelry, chauffeured limousine rides and political contributions.

He also used NCCF coffers to issue a $24,000 paycheck to himself for a down payment to build a townhouse in Philadelphia, a transaction that was flagged by his mortgage provider, according to the grand jury.

McNeil, 62, of Sicklerville, NJ, arranged for an additional paycheck for himself in the amount of $11,780. Prosecutors said the money was not owed to him and he did not repay it, but used to buy himself a car.

Both executives were charged with five counts each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy and one count of attempted theft by deception.

 

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