A former employee of an Ohio community action agency recently received a six-month jail sentence for embezzling more than $50,000 from the organization, according to the OCM News Service.
Jenny Hollar-Young, who pleaded guilty to one count of theft and five counts of forgery last month, also received a five-year community control sanction for stealing from the Community Action Commission of Fayette County. Although she admitted to misappropriating $52,000 from June 2009 to October of last year, a recovery audit revealed that approximately $114,000 had been stolen since 2006, according to Fayette County prosecutor Jess Weade.
"This was a systematic approach by this defendant over a period of time where she committed multiple offenses and ultimately … (stole) thousands upon thousands of dollars from Community Action," Weade said in a statement quoted by the news source.
Hollar-Young was able to orchestrate the scheme in part because she was promoted to deputy director of the agency in March 2010, which allowed her to oversee all fiscal departments. Her misappropriation was uncovered after a new fiscal officer identified accounting inconsistencies.
Weak or nonexistent checks and balances can facilitate embezzlement by making it easier to begin misappropriating funds and continue without being caught. Tightening controls and conducting regular accounts payable audits can mitigate risk.