DC-area nonprofit loses millions to fraud

Organizations that fail to leverage AP audit solutions are more prone to becoming the victims of fraud and embezzlement. As businesses are generally responsible for large sums of money due to payroll and other fiscal responsibilities, positions are created that handle these daily operations. When those positions are endowed with unilateral control over the organizations' budgetary responsibilities, it's essential that there are methods for keeping track of these individuals' activities. 

For instance, The Washington Post reported that Ephonia Green, a former employee of the Association of American Medical Colleges, was recently charged with stealing more than $5 million from the nonprofit.  A crime of this magnitude has never before been perpetrated against a D.C.-area nonprofit, according to the source. 

Green's fraud began in 2005, when she started stealing funds from the association by paying herself with the nonprofit's funds in order to support her bridal business. Her side business, Couture Miss Bridal & Formal, donated 275 gowns to military personnel, which the source noted would have been difficult to accomplish with her salary of $56,000 per year. To accomplish her scheme, the news provider reported that Green approved payment amounts to legitimate vendors, but rather than sending the checks, she had them returned to her. 

After these fake transactions, the stolen funds were deposited into a false account under the name Brookings Institute. The real vendor, which goes by the corporate title of Brookings Institution, never received any of the $3.7 million that Green forwarded from the fake account into her personal funds. 

According to Bangor Daily News, Green's plans fell apart when a bank stopped processing a payment of $113,000 from a check that was being deposited into another fake account. Although the situation eventually unraveled, with an accounts payable audit, the organization could have discovered this activity early on.  

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