Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Free Ride Despite Charity Fraud

by Gary Snyder

Visit Philadelphia, a tourism marketing and development organization has encountered some problems, notably the embezzlement of $210,000 over five years by its chief financial officer. 
In bad form, Visit Philadelphia chose not to notify law enforcement authorities, but allowed the CFO (who has now taken a job with another nonprofit, the Benefits Data Trust, which is largely funded by government grants) to simply quit with the promise of restitution. 
Although philly.com has no information about whether restitution was paid and notwithstanding the failure of Visit Philadelphia to notify authorities, the local district attorney has launched an investigation of the embezzlement on his own. (source)
The local Carpenters union has asked the city controller to conduct a "full-scale audit" of Philadelphia's two tourism marketing agencies, which it contends have "virtually no public oversight of their spending." The Carpenters union, in its request for information, also sought CFO Joyce Levitz's expense records as well as those of any employee who earned $90,000 or more a year. The organization has declined to identify who had approved Levitt's expenses. 

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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