Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Charity Fraud: Detecting, Preventing, and Investigating Fraud, Embezzlement, and Charitable Diversion

By Gary Snyder

In light of the disturbing numbers reported by the Washington Post, Congress and numerous state attorneys general have pledged to launch investigations, and reportedly, some have. This will likely lead to even greater scrutiny by government regulators. 

External audits are necessary to ensure that effective financial controls and fraud prevention measures are being followed, but a standard audit is not the method by which nonprofit organizations should expect to detect fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) reports that less than 4% of frauds are discovered through an audit of external financial statements by an independent accounting firm.

Nonprofits may no longer elect to handle instances of fraud or embezzlement quietly to avoid unwanted attention and embarrassment. As of 2008, a larger nonprofit must publicly disclose any embezzlement or theft exceeding $250,000, 5% of the organization's gross receipts, or 5% of its total assets. A tax-exempt organization whose gross receipts are greater than or equal to $200,000—or whose assets are greater than or equal to $500,000—is subject to additional public disclosure requirements on its IRS Form 990 concerning the embezzlement or theft.

More at Venerable LLP

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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