Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Without Checking References, Nonprofit Fraud Results, again

by Gary Snyder

When Anita Collins applied to work at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, in June 2003, the Archdiocese did not perform criminal background checks on prospective employees. So church officials were unaware until recently that she had been convicted of grand larceny in one case and had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in another. According to court records, Ms. Collins was arrested in June 1999, and charged with stealing at least $46,000 over 16 months from a Manhattan temporary employment agency where she worked as a payroll manager. In January 1986, she was arrested in the Bronx on multiple counts of criminal forgery and grand larceny. In that case, she pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor and received three years’ probation. She was on probation when she statred working at the diocese

Although she did not live lavishly, she indulge herself in one thing: expensive dolls. When detectives emerged from her three-bedroom apartment on carrying boxes filled with personal effects: 17 or 18 were labeled dolls.

No one questioned the over 450  checks she wrote at the archdiocese to cover small expenses, like office supplies and utility bills. Anita Collins, 67, was charged with embezzling more than $1 million over seven years from the archdiocese. Ms. Collins had issued the checks from the archdiocese to “KB Collins,” the initials of one of her sons. After each check was printed, she would change internal records to show that the check had been issued to a legitimate vendor, prosecutors said. She kept the amounts to less than $2,500 each to avoid the approval of a supervisor required for larger checks. (link)

How many times does this have to happen to get charities attention?

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, , Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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