Maryland county investigates teachers union embezzlement

In January, Worcester County, Maryland, launched an investigation into the temporary disappearance of more than $100,000 in Worcester County Teachers Association funds last year, according to the Delmar Daily.

As the National Legal and Policy Center notes, "if an embezzler returns money to its proper owner, that doesn't erase the fact of the embezzlement." Although the crime went unreported, local law enforcement is now looking into it, according to attorney Beau Oglesby.

The issue first came to light in an Internal Revenue Service tax return from March 2011, which categorized $111,589 as "misappropriated funds." Last October, the IRS revoked the association's tax exempt status on the grounds that it failed to file a Form 990 for three years in a row, despite former union treasurer Denise Tull's assertions that all filings were current.

"The officers learned not only had the returns not been filed, but a substantial amount of money was embezzled," according to an undated, unsigned letter included in the 2011 tax return, as quoted by the Delmar Daily.

Organizations that don't have sufficient checks and balances in place and fail to conduct routine AP audits on a regular basis make themselves more vulnerable to misappropriation. 

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