The office of Massachusetts auditor Suzanne Bump recently released a report detailing the results of an accounts payable audit that found evidence of extensive financial mismanagement at an Easthampton-based nonprofit human services provider.
Northeast Center for Youth and Families, which serves approximately 600 mentally ill and emotionally disturbed children, provided inflated cost information to the Department of Youth Services and inappropriately used taxpayer funds to cover out-of-state operating losses over a five-year period, the Boston Globe reports.
Additionally, the center hired independent consultants who could not be paid by the state, and allowed its workers' compensation insurance to lapse for a 21-day period, during which an employee was injured. The resulting claim was paid with more than $7,000 of state money, according to the news source.
Bump, who is spearheading a recovery audit, called for the center to reimburse the state for the misused funds, which totaled more than $1 million. She expressed concern that the situation with NCYF may not be an isolated incident.
"Our auditors are creating a data program that will help us quickly determine whether others among the nearly 1,200 service vendors may be using our tax dollars to operate out-of-state programs," she said in a statement quoted by WWLP-TV.