Former President and CEO of Los Angeles-Based Nonprofit Agency Pleads Guilty to Conversion and Tax Counts

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LOS ANGELES – The Justice Department announced today the guilty plea of a former president and CEO of a Los Angeles-based anti-poverty nonprofit for embezzlement and for intentionally misusing $600,000 in grant money for unauthorized expenses, and for lying on tax returns.

The former president and CEO of Youth Policy Institute Inc. (YPI), Howard Dixon Slingerland, 53, of Studio City, pleads guilty to the charges against him that are conversion and intentional misapplication of funds intended for the nonprofit organization, and filing a false federal income tax return. The aforementioned information and plea agreement were filed last January 17,2022 in the United States District Court where Slingerland is expected to appear in the coming weeks.

The YPI is a Hollywood-based nonprofit organization that aims to eliminate poverty in impoverished neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Slingerland worked as the CEO and president of YPI from 1996 until September 2019, when he was fired. According to Slingerland’s plea agreement, YPI worked on an extensive approach for various problems related to education, youth, development, safety, job training, and health and wellness. Slingerland, as the CEO and president of the agency, had the authority to sign cheques over YPI’s bank accounts and was the personal guarantor of YPI’s credit card.

Slingerland will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for the conversion count for spending $71,533 of YPI funds from January 2015 to February 2019 that includes more than $6,000 for a family dinner at a New York City restaurant, almost $11,000 for a family member’s tutoring, and more or less $2,000 for a home computer and software. In July 2019, Slingerland used approximately $401,561 worth of funds from a federal grant for the unauthorized payment of a YPI payroll. Also in July, he used an approximate amount of $201,466 in federal grant money for the illegal use of paying YPI’s credit card bill that includes expenses incurred by himself.

He will also serve three years in federal prison for the tax count that includes charges against Slingerland for exceeding his personal property tax worth $14,000, and for under-reporting his federal income tax returns that is more than $100,000 in income each year. According to the United States Treasury, Slingerland’s unpaid taxes totaled to an approximate amount ofn$147,398 from 2015 to 2018, not including the penalties and interest yet.

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