SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

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SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby R.E.A.P.E.R. » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:37 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30 April 2019

Contact: Kim Springsdorf, SRI Exec. Dir.
(989) 720-3953
visitshiawassee@gmail.com

Owosso, Mich. – The Steam Railroading Institute today announces the results of an audit and preliminary investigation that show a former employee embezzled approximately $200,000 from the organization over a nearly two-year period.

Mary Lombardo, former SRI Financial Director, used a variety of methods to steal the money from SRI by directing it through multiple PayPal accounts to her personal bank accounts, arranging sole responsibility for multiple credit cards and falsifying financial reports to cover up the discrepancies. She used the funds to purchase gas, groceries, and many personal items for herself and her family in Michigan as well as other states, among other things.........

https://www.michigansteamtrain.com/blog ... r-employee
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby AARR » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:22 pm

Shouldn't be surprised that this could happen to a local group but it's still disappointing :(
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby SW » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:03 pm

Awful.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby Steve B » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:46 pm

It seems like every month we hear of a similar story in Michigan. I just can't fathom how the finances are entrusted solely to one person and how it can be pulled off for so long before anybody notices. At least one other, and preferably several people need to be also reviewing expenses and income, at least weekly.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby trainjunkie47 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:57 pm

This is terrible news. I'm not diving into politics, but mentioning this as contributing to the discussion. I am the treasurer for a state level Political Action Committee. (won't say which one). The most total contributions and bank balance I've dealt with in any given fiscal year are well south of $5,000. Despite this, I have multiple checks and balances to satisfy, including directly involving the PAC Vice Chair and/or the PAC Secretary on each quarterly report, and all officers on the annual report. I just can't imagine why the SRI would expose themselves like this? :(
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby MQT1223 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:43 pm

I find it interesting that most embezzlement cases now a days seem to be committed by women. Place I last worked at had $200,000 stolen from them by an employee. She was in the midst of a divorce and started to take money from the company that was supposed to go to people we bought parts from.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby jrgerber » Wed May 01, 2019 4:47 am

Lots happens with churches any not for profit and some public companies like CATS where there been all sorts of financial control issues
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby PatAzo » Wed May 01, 2019 9:00 am

MQT1223 wrote:I find it interesting that most embezzlement cases now a days seem to be committed by women.


Most likely the social norms that put women into office positions and positions that presents the opportunity. Look up Rita Crundwell. She embezzled over $53M from the city of Dixon IL over a span of 20 years.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby Steve B » Thu May 02, 2019 9:06 am

Ch. 47 reports the police checked her house to find her and it looks like she's "moved out." Great.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby DaveO » Thu May 02, 2019 9:25 am

Steve B wrote:Ch. 47 reports the police checked her house to find her and it looks like she's "moved out." Great.

July, 2018 was when she was put on notice that they had discovered a problem.
Would you wait around for the police to show up? I wouldn't.

It seems to me that the whole affair has been poorly handled.
How many skeletons are still left in the closet?
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby PatAzo » Thu May 02, 2019 3:32 pm

DaveO wrote:It seems to me that the whole affair has been poorly handled.


In a study on embezzlement Christopher Marquet, CEO of Marquet International said."Banks and financial organizations—perhaps because that is where the money is—and nonprofits, including religious organizations, probably due to their weak business controls environment, are most often the victims of this type of white collar crime,"

At the opposite end of the spectrum my brother works for a company owned by a capital management firm. After the buy out they instituted a whole array of monitoring like when vehicle is fueled and a report runs calculating how much fuel should fit in the vehicle based on mileage since the last time it was fueled. Cars, printer toner, internet traffic, if sales peoples travel expenses match where their phones showed them being...they watch everything.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby Steve B » Thu May 02, 2019 6:23 pm

There should be a wide public posting of a good photo of this woman's face and a "WANTED" caption. And how long did the audit take, anyway? Up to nine months? Or did the police just take forever? Something doesn't add up.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby NYCMan » Thu May 02, 2019 7:31 pm

Rarely does an organization issue a press release regarding embezzlement by an employee, as such press releases can and usually do shake up investor confidence. (Even a non-profit, such as SRI, has "investors".) The correct steps have been taken by involving law enforcement and seeking prosecution. A top-down outside audit should be undertaken, as I would suspect that there is more than just this amiss at SRI.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Thu May 02, 2019 8:21 pm

Steve B wrote:There should be a wide public posting of a good photo of this woman's face and a "WANTED" caption. And how long did the audit take, anyway? Up to nine months? Or did the police just take forever? Something doesn't add up.


the audit was authorized in July 2018 and was originally for FY18. Auditors found discrepancies going back to 2016 and changed to a forensic audit. When the board asked Lombardo to turn over missing documentation and work with a third party, she instead wiped the accounting system. The police were only involved recently.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby DaveO » Thu May 02, 2019 9:58 pm

The real eye opener is that once you suspect someone of embezzlement, you need to lock them out of the office and the computer. You don't go on vacation and come back later to address the issue. Yet that is what apparently happened at SRI. And look at what happened. What was a big problem became an even bigger problem.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby GreatLakesRailfan » Fri May 03, 2019 6:35 am

MQT1223 wrote:I find it interesting that most embezzlement cases now a days seem to be committed by women.


Not all embezzlers are female. One of the local non-profits in Port Huron had a male financial director take something like $1.6 million over a number of years. I think they filed charges against him last week. The kicker is that he had just gotten out of jail for...embezzlement...when he was hired by that non-profit. Supposedly the person who hired him didn't do a background check first.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby Steve B » Fri May 03, 2019 3:12 pm

Yes, it was extremely naive to "request" missing documentation from her, then allow her back in the office without someone monitoring her activity.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby NYCMan » Fri May 03, 2019 4:58 pm

I'd bet dimes to doughnuts that one of the members of the Board was a "fan" of the embezzler and saw to it that the request was made so that the embezzler could cover up. Seen this type of behavior before at another non-profit. As I said in an earlier post, there likely should be further audits/investigations to fully ascertain the entire scope of the embezzlement, as well as to ascertain whether there are "compatriots" or other "enablers" still around. The audit/investigation needs to be done by an objective outsider who has no ties to anyone involved or the organization.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby MQT1223 » Fri May 03, 2019 8:51 pm

GreatLakesRailfan wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:I find it interesting that most embezzlement cases now a days seem to be committed by women.


Not all embezzlers are female. One of the local non-profits in Port Huron had a male financial director take something like $1.6 million over a number of years. I think they filed charges against him last week. The kicker is that he had just gotten out of jail for...embezzlement...when he was hired by that non-profit. Supposedly the person who hired him didn't do a background check first.


Not saying that all of them are female but a good chunk are. In the case of the Port Huron group, that was just plain dumb.
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Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee

Unread postby Jochs » Fri May 03, 2019 10:08 pm

PatAzo wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:I find it interesting that most embezzlement cases now a days seem to be committed by women.


Most likely the social norms that put women into office positions and positions that presents the opportunity. Look up Rita Crundwell. She embezzled over $53M from the city of Dixon IL over a span of 20 years.


I've noticed that two.

Here is what's currently going on in my area. I live about 9 miles south of Berrien Springs. A woman embezzled approximately $230K from a Berrien Springs school.
https://wsbt.com/news/local/woman-accused-of-embezzling-230k-from-berrien-springs-school-is-expected-in-court
https://www.wsjm.com/2019/04/30/former-school-employee-pleads-guilty-to-embezzlement/
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