Embezzling nonprofit director to be sentenced in June

A nonprofit embezzlement case that first hit the headlines last year will reach a resolution this summer, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times.

In February 2011, Debra Brown stepped down from her position as director of the San Angelo, Texas-based Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), which she captained for more than 15 years. After her resignation, she was accused of embezzling more than $60,000 from the nonprofit via fraudulent reimbursement schemes.

An accounts payable audit ordered by state and federal law enforcement revealed the scope of her alleged misappropriation was much wider than had previously been thought. The investigators looked at CAC accounts dating from January 2005 to the end of 2010, and their report indicated that more than $237,000 had been "embezzled, (stolen) or obtained by fraud," as quoted by the news source.

Specifically, the Lubbock firm hired by CAC board members to carry out the AP audit raised questions about airfare reimbursements for trips Brown had taken, furniture purchases that appeared invalid and claims made for expenses that were apparently personal in nature, such as clothing and gift cards. She was indicted by a grand jury last year after being found to have submitted fictitious reimbursement forms, according to KLST-TV.

Following a September 2011 courtroom appearance to ensure Brown understood the indictment against her – six counts of theft from the nonprofit – Brown pleaded guilty to one count of theft in January of this year. Because the CAC receives state and federal grants, the offense carries a prison sentence of up to one decade, in addition to a $250,000 fine, the source explains.

Brown's sentencing is scheduled for June 19.

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