Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Unwarranted Trust Results in Two Scandals

bt Gary Snyder

He was “trusted like a member of the Bas Bleu Theater Co." Tom Campbell, board president, said. But now Matthew Shane Strauch has been charged with two counts of theft and three counts of identity theft stemming from two separate investigations.

The former general manager of Bas Bleu and a long time employee, Strauch took the personal information of someone associated with the theater company, opened two credit card accounts and accumulated substantial debt. Strauch also created a bank account at First Bank in the name of Bas Bleu Theatre Co., without the knowledge of company officials, where he is accused of depositing various checks stolen from the business. At least 30 checks were written from the account; five to “cash;” 17 to “Matt Strauch;” five to “Chase;” two to “U.S. Bank;” as well as multiple debit and credit card transactions to local stores, restaurants, online bills and other locations.

As if that was not enough, police said Strauch made five unauthorized counter withdrawals from bank accounts owned by a charter school where he was board treasurer of T.R. Paul Academy of Arts and Knowledge.

Bas Bleu founder and artistic director Wendy Ishii said, "While the financial toll is significant, the emotional toll is even more so."

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, ,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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