Words: Steve Brown
A pastor who scammed Aids charities out of around $631,000 says he is ‘entitled to it’.
Reverend Reginald Williams – a pastor from the Bronx and CEO of Addicts Rehabilitation Center Fund and the Addicts Rehabilitation Center Foundation – reportedly helped himself to money meant for HIV-positive drug addicts and allegedly spent it on Caribbean holidays as well as bar tabs and dinners.
Williams and two others were arraigned on grand larceny charges for stealing the money from the two charities that he supervised.
According to prosecutors, Williams gave one of his accomplices a consulting contract in exchange for $54,000 in kickbacks and he used the money to pay off his credit card and wrote cashier’s checks to himself and his wife.
He also reimbursed requests for his expensive lifestyle which included $100,000 for trips to the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic as well as $170,000 worth of dinners and bar tabs.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, the trio ‘shamelessly stole from publicly funded organisations dedicated to helping vulnerable New Yorkers.
“Even while their organisations struggled financially – failing to meet contractual obligations and even furloughing employees without pay – these defendants continued to drain the coffers for their personal gain.”
Williams’ attorneys argued that he raised more than $14 million for the groups and claimed ‘every dime received (from the non-profits) he was entitled to’ and said he worked for free for years and only asked for ‘out-of-pocket expenses’.
The lawyer said: “The board made the decision to pay my client, to pay him for the years in which he got no salary.”