A D.C. government employee has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he issued more than $1.45 million in food stamps and welfare benefits in exchange for sexual favors and $380,000.
Demetrius McMillan, a case worker for D.C.'s Department of Human Services, accepted the sexual favors and money from about April through July of last year, according to court documents filed by the D.C. United States Attorney's Office.
Sources told News4 that as many as two dozen recipients were involved and that McMillan received sexual favors from 10 to 20 women.
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Investigators found nearly $75,000 in cash at McMillan's home in December, according to the documents.
McMillan, 48, of D.C., pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday. He declined to comment outside court, but his lawyer said he was sorry.
"Mr. McMillan is very sorry and admitted his guilt at his first opportunity," his attorney told News4.
Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger said she was "absolutely sickened" by McMillan's actions. She said she did not believe the problem was wide-spread.
"We will continue to work to prevent any fraudulent activity," she said.
In court, McMillan's attorney said his client had no prior criminal history and has cooperated with investigators.
McMillan faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $300,000 when he is sentenced June 19.
He also agreed to pay $1,456,985 in restitution, forfeit the nearly $75,000 seized at his home and pay an additional forfeiture money judgment, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
"The crimes and acts alleged in the charging document are despicable and demonstrate a lack of values," a representative for Mayor Muriel Bowser's office said in a statement. "When the Department of Human Services became suspicious of illegal activity, it reported it to the Office of the Inspector General. The District government takes suspected abusive and fraudulent activity seriously, and will always work and cooperate with our local and federal partners to ensure that those who engage in criminal behavior are held accountable."
The statement also said that anyone who suspects waste, fraud or abuse should contact the Office of Program Review, Monitoring and Investigation at 202-671-4460 or submit an allegation here.
The Washington Post reports McMillan is the second D.C. employee to be involved in a welfare corruption investigation in the past month. Former District employee Gary T. Holliday was convicted last month of taking more than $400,000 from the food stamp program and putting it into a fraudulent account for several months in 2017. He also is set to be sentenced in June.
Prosecutors said they are looking at the possibility of charging anyone who received the fraudulent payments. Also, they could be cut off from benefits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.