Monday, October 20, 2014

It Took 13 Years To Nab This Multi-Million Dollar Charity Embezzler

By Gary Snyder

The former board president Russell “Rusty” Brace was able to allegedly steal  $3.8 million over the past 13 years from United Mid-Coast Charities.

The charity maintains that from 2001 until August 2014, Brace took checks from donors earmarked for the charity, deposited them into his account and then withdrew the money for his own use. The current president said that Brace has admitted to the embezzlement.

Paperwork filed in court in the charity’s civil lawsuit against Brace offered more details about his finances, including an account containing $700,000 that refers to “UCRC Char Fund.” Several donation checks were for more than $100,000 with one being $200,000 for the charity. 

The First, N.A. bank allowed Brace to deposit checks made out to the charity into the account of Brace’s Brace Management bank account at that bank. The charity board’s president said that clearly the bank should not have allowed Brace to make those deposits and that it was irregular.

Brace has not been charged with any crime. It is unlikely that charges will be forthcoming in the near future. The charity said it referred the case to the FBI, but federal prosecutions of financial cases can take a year or more to result in the filing of charges. The superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions said that the state agency does not regulate federally-chartered banks such as The First. Federally-chartered banks are regulated by the Comptroller of the Currency. A spokeswoman for that agency said this week that the federal agency does not comment on allegations against specific banks.

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,, 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,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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