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D.C. Boxing Legend Charged With Fraud

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A D.C. boxing hero who helped train young fighters to stay out of trouble is now is facing his own legal woes.

Keely Thompson has been charged with stealing more than $500,000 in public funds and using the money for gambling.

The story of Thompson, a local champ on the ropes and fighting to save his nonprofit organization from shutting down, garnered a lot of attention on WAMU and other news outlets last year.

Thompson spoke last December about the city's threats to close his anti-gang boxing center because he hadn't made rent in several months.

"If they shut this program down, you have not seen gang violence yet. You have not seen gang violence," Thompson said.

But according to charging documents, the real reason Keely's Boxing and Youth Center went broke was because he had spent the money on cruises and gambling in Atlantic City.

And an affidavit says Thompson confessed to some of the crimes. Keely allegedly told an FBI agent, "I used the money in the wrong way, I done it and I cant change it."

Since the gym opened in 2004, Thompson has received nearly $1.5 million dollars in city money; the funds were marked to help at-risk children.

Thompson faces one count of wire-fraud and is scheduled to appear in court next month.

WAMU 88.5

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