Nonprofit leader and L.A. political fundraiser sentenced to prison in embezzlement case

The former head of a prominent nonprofit in Los Angeles who pleaded guilty to embezzlement was sentenced Tuesday to six months in federal prison and six months’ home detention, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Dixon Slingerland, the former chief executive of the nonprofit Youth Policy Institute, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee to pay restitution of $750,470 and a $10,000 fine, and perform 200 hours of community service.

Slingerland’s attorney, Vicki Podberesky, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to his professional career, Slingerland was a campaign fundraiser and donor for Democratic candidates. He was also a frequent visitor to the White House during President Obama’s administration.

He admitted in a plea agreement earlier this year that he embezzled more than $71,000 from the anti-poverty nonprofit that he led, including buying his family a $6,131 dinner at Momofuku Ko, a high-end New York City restaurant.

Slingerland also admitted that he did not report nearly $450,000 in total income from the nonprofit on his personal tax returns from 2016 to 2019, according to the plea agreement.

Slingerland, who earned about $400,000 annually leading the nonprofit, also said in his plea agreement that he misspent more than $600,000 of the group’s funds and put personal expenses on the organization’s American Express card.

Youth Policy Institute, a nonprofit focused on education and poverty programs, received tens of millions of dollars in federal funding during the Obama administration and was promoted frequently by then-Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The group shuttered in 2019 following an audit that found a lack of oversight and inaccurate financial reports. Slingerland was also fired from the nonprofit that year.

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