For many individuals, their estate plan includes a donation gifted to their favorite charity. Regardless of how minor or substantial these gifts may be, knowing the funds are being put to good use supporting the things we love is usually enough of a reason to do it. However, occasionally donations are intercepted by the hands of greedy individuals. When this happens, our gifts of charitable support turn into expendable income for someone it was never meant for. For many Florida residents, this may very well be the case, as a local fire captain pleads guilty to embezzlement of funds given to a charity founded by his father.
A fire captain for the Tampa Bay area will plead guilty to embezzling more than $187,000 of funds given to the children's charity Hope Children's Home, a charity his father created. The fire captain worked on the side as the charities chief financial officer and business manager and was found to have written over 100 checks payable to himself.
According to court documents and the plea agreement, the theft spanned over a period of five years; from 2007 to 2011 in which the fire captain paid himself the $187,000. The federal charge he faces carries a potential 20-year prison sentence and has already got him suspended from his job.
It is still unknown how and when Hope Children's Home will recoup the funds taken by the fire captain, but a loss of this magnitude is likely to have lasting effects on the charity's ability to carry out its mission. Individuals involved in charities and their administration may be able to protect their cause from a loss of this type by receiving the help of a skilled attorney.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Tampa fire captain to plead guilty to theft from charity," Dec. 1, 2015