Federal Embezzlement Charges at Non-Profit

by dmatson on July 22, 2010

A New York City employee and director at a local non-profit pleaded guilty of federal embezzlement charges in Manhattan Federal Court.According to the North Country Gazette, the charges stem via a variety of methods to ultimately steal over $50,000, including mis-allocation of grant funds, giving herself unauthorized pay raises, and other financial fraud schemes.

Embezzlement charges were issued in Federal court, instead of New York State, largely due to the fact that much of the funding to this organization came through federally issued grants. Specific charges included embezzling federal funds, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A federal judge will make a final sentencing decision, to be issued in January.

As we’ve discussed before, non-profit organizations are notoriously easy to embezzle from, especially if you are in the organization leadership, as this woman was the executive director of the organization. Non-profits are typically short staffed, so there is little redundant responsibility or over-site.

And at a non-profit, there is often an assumption of common purpose among the staff, and that assumption can be exploited by someone with less scrupulous or honorable motives.

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