Unfortunately, organizations with charitable or philanthropic goals are just as susceptible to fraud as for-profit businesses. In fact, because they're more concerned with bettering the lives of others than they are with satisfying investors, it can be easy for these entities to maintain less-than-optimal visibility into their finances.
According to the Bethlehem Patch, Theresa Leguillow of Allentown, Penn., was recently accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from the local YMCA. The 45-year-old woman worked for the organization as a building manager, overseeing apartments in the YMCA's Affordable Housing Division.
Among other alleged crimes, police accused Leguillow of withholding $50,000 in rent money that should have been deposited into the YMCA's bank account, according to the news source. She also allegedly failed to render tenants' security deposits to the organization, and the affidavit claimed that Leguillow collected fraudulent emergency shelter grants from the Northampton County Department of Community and Economic Development by using tenants' names without authorization, in addition to overcharging Catholic Charities in their subsidy payments.
The Lehigh-Valley Express-Times reported that Leguillow has been released from jail after her bail was reduced to $1,000.
The case makes it clear that accounts payable audits aren't relevant only to corporations – they can also help ensure that nonprofit organizations can continue pursuing their charitable goals.