Maryland woman pleads guilty to embezzling at nonprofit

Even at small organizations where visibility into finances should be high, fraud remains an ongoing threat, especially if effective accounts payable audit solutions are not put in place. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ephonia Green, a former employee of the Association of American Medical Colleges, recently pleaded guilty to charges that she embezzled $5.1 million of the nonprofit corporation's funds – including federal grants.

The government uncovered evidence sufficient to prove that in her position as administrative assistant, the Upper Marlboro, Md., woman embezzled money from her employer by creating fraudulent invoices from the Brookings Institute, the University Health System Consortium and her own bridal shop, Fabulous Concepts Inc., the FBI reported. The theft appears to have occurred over a lengthy period of time, between July 15, 2005 and July 1, 2013.

"Her lucrative and long-running scheme came crashing down when her employer discovered her deception and informed law enforcement," U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen commented, according to the Washington Post.

Darrell Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said he was "stunned" by the revelation and had viewed Green as a "long-time, trusted employee," the news source reported. Green's crime is a reminder of the need for accounts payable audits, even among workforces where a high level of trust exists.

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