What exactly should a nonprofit board do when it learns that its trusted Treasurer has redirected some of its funds?
Below is the Washington Post story about the theft experienced by the Talbot Watermen Association. The Treasurer helped herself to the nonprofit's funds and members of the organization called the cops. Presuming that the nonprofit has liability insurance, much of their loss should be recovered.
The good news. Below the Washington Post article is what the Association shared with its members. On the Association Website the item is simply titled "Talbot Watermen Association Official Statement. Clicking-on this title gets one to the statement. Fair enough.
Good step: once financial theft is learned or even perceived: call the cops! Next step, fix the systems and policies that enabled the theft. Finally, talk to your constituents. Kudos to the Association for moving forward in what I believe to be correct actions.
EASTON, Md. — Maryland State Police have charged the former treasurer of a Talbot County nonprofit with stealing from the organization.
Forty-year-old Lisa N. Gowe of Neavitt was charged Thursday with theft scheme, $100,000 plus.
Troopers say in January, members of the Talbot Watermen’s Association contacted state police and alleged that Gowe, then the group’s treasurer and event organizer, depleted the association’s bank accounts.
Investigators say bank records show that Gowe wrote numerous checks written, made withdrawals, debits and electronic money transfers that were not authorized.
Police say Gowe used the money for herself and not the Watermen’s Association. Washington Post
POSTED ON JULY 25, 2015
As most of you are now aware, our past treasurer Lisa Gowe has been arrested for embezzling money from our Association. As a Watermen Community and a Association, we have pulled together and will overcome this setback. This is our official statement :
Lisa Gowe’s criminal charges are the result of an investigation by the Maryland State Police. The investigation was requested by our Association when we discovered discrepancies between information provided between Ms. Gowe and information provided by the bank. We were shocked and disheartened to learn that our once trusted treasurer was, in fact, untrustworthy. Since learning the details of the apparent embezzlement, we have consulted with attorneys and accountants, and have instituted new financial controls and oversight. We are saddened by our prior treasurer’s actions, for her family, for our members, and for our supporters throughout the community. We have asked the State’s Attorney to seek restitution as a component of the criminal process.