Jeri Wright, the daughter of President Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright, was indicted on charges of money laundering and lying to federal authorities on Wednesday, helping a fraudulent nonprofit misuse state grant money.
Wright was part of a scheme run by the former police chief of an Illinois city, Regina Evans, and her husband Ronald, whose nonprofit, We Are Our Brother’s Keeper, was awarded a $1.25 million state grant in 2009.
Wright, a close friend of the couple, allegedly received several checks totaling about $28,000 that were supposedly for work related to the grant, according to the Justice Department. About $20,000 of that money was deposited back into accounts belonging to the Evanses.
The grant was supposed to pay for about 40 people to receive bricklaying and electrical training and GED preparation at a Regal Theater also owned by the Evanses. But according to the DOJ, the indictment alleges that little, if any, of the training was ever completed.
The money laundering count carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, and the other charges carry a penalty of up to five years.
Jeremiah Wright was Obama’s controversial pastor during the 2008 election, when he drew attention for incendiary comments like his claim that the U.S. was to blame for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks “because [of] the stuff we’ve done overseas.”