Former CEO of Chuck Norris' charity pleads guilty

January 28, 2008 6:17:54 AM PST
The former chief executive of Chuck Norris' martial arts program for inner-city children has pleaded guilty to stealing from the charity, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

James D. Brasher, 47, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of uttering a forged security, the office said in a statement.

Brasher confessed to opening bank accounts in names similar to that of Norris' Kick Drugs Out of America Foundation. He then fraudulently endorsed checks sent to the foundation and deposited them into his own accounts, using the money to pay his debts and living expenses.

He admitted taking at least $130,000, DeGabrielle said.

Brasher is set to be sentenced in April. He faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and a three-year-term of supervised release.

Norris established the foundation, nicknamed Kickstart, in 1990 to use martial arts to help children avoid the temptations of gangs and drugs. According to the charity's Web site, Kickstart serves 5,000 youngsters in 38 schools in the Houston and Dallas areas.