Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prosecutor: Public Embezzlement is "more prevalent than we would like to believe"

by Gary Snyder

Embezzlement from public institutions and offices is distressingly common.

In just a smalll part of Colorado, thieves keep finding new ways to skim money from the public coffers.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

·                               Gunnison County School District $400,000
·                               Paonia $400,000
·                               Marble $300,00
·                               Garfield County $200,000
·                               Garfield District Court Clerk’s Office $19,422
·        
Garfield County Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain says, “It’s really hard to regulate against fraud.” She who works closely with the county’s other elected officials and department heads. “The scary part is there always seem to be ways around anything you set up to prevent it, especially when there is a lot of money that passes through.”

Chamberlain said she employs several safeguards to protect money through her office. “We have a fiscal manual that outlines all of the procedures that we must follow,” James Bradford, clerk of the combined district and county courts in Garfield County said. “Every few years, we have our audit people come in and audit every aspect of what we do. Every kind of payment we send out, bank deposits, any transactions, are all closely scrutinized.”

Ninth District Attorney Sherry Caloia complained that embezzlers, both public and private, often get off with no prison time. And restitution payments after sentencing can be reduced to a minimum amount of as little as $15 to $25 per month, meaning the likelihood of full recovery of the money is remote, she said.
“It’s very upsetting, because unless these cases are treated very harshly the deterrent effect is not there,” she said.
Public embezzlement is “more prevalent than we would like to believe,” she said. Not only is prison time a strong message, but she said she has been working with the probation office to obtain a better financial profile on the offenders, including real estate, vehicles and retirement accounts, to determine their ability to pay restitution. (source)

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: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News, Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter, MichiganNonprofit.com, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit, ncrp.org, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner, msnbc.com, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today, Answers.com, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization), Answers.com, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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