AP audit finds nonprofit worker guilty of $52K embezzlement

A 15-year veteran of the Red Cross in Hawaii was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation on top of hundreds of dollars in monthly restitution payments for her involvement in an embezzlement scheme.

Kathleen Caneda's sentencing marked the close of a case that began in June 2012, according to Hawaii News Now. An accounts payable audit over the summer, the source says, showed misappropriation of the Red Cross branch's funds by $52,000 that lasted from 2004 to 2012.

Scott Bell, the deputy prosecutor for the case, told KHON-TV that Caneda made fraudulent payments to herself while working as an accounts payable clerk.

"She created checks made out to her in amounts ranging from one to five hundred dollars and after completing the checks, she deleted the transaction from the Red Cross accounting software," he said.

KHON-TV reports that over the course of the next several years, Caneda will be required to pay $250 a month to pay back the funds stolen during her time with the organization. The source notes the embezzler committed the crime while under financial pressure.

Nonprofits and other businesses who find discrepancies in financial records may consider working with specialized audit solutions providers in the case of accounts payable recovery or duplicate payment needs. 

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