Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Boys and Girls Club confirms apparent embezzlement

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County confirmed on Thursday that it’s reported the loss--and apparent theft--of $33,000 to the Valparaiso Police Department.

According to a statement released by Ryan Smiley, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County (BGCPC), the money in question is missing from cash receipts from Kidstop, a fee-based childcare program conducted before and after school at nine school sites throughout Porter County.

The BGCPC “first detected discrepancies in cash missing from daily deposits for the fee-based program as the result of an in-depth cost analysis,” the statement said. “A full audit determined that funds are missing from over a two and a half year span dating back to 2012 through 2014.”

On “learning of the apparent missing funds, the organization took immediate and appropriate action,” the statement added. “The employee responsible for the program’s deposits was placed on paid leave” and prohibited “access to the Club and any of its operations, pending the outcome of the internal investigation. The employee was then terminated upon the investigation from an external audit.”

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County is committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity, and does not tolerate inappropriate or illegal activity on the part of any Club staff, volunteer or youth member,” Smiley said.

Smiley noted that all employees and volunteers must undergo a thorough criminal background check on an annual basis.

“While there are accounting controls in the depositing of collected funds, an additional internal control of the reconciliation of the program deposits was lacking,” the statement said. Such “controls have since been implemented and a full examination of accounting practices has been conducted.”

“This is a very unfortunate and hurtful situation for all of us associated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County,” Smiley said. “We believe we have uncovered the full extent of the theft and the gaps in our processes, and we are confident that this was an isolated incident.”

“The organization is and will continue its full cooperation with the authorities as the judicial process continues,” the statement concluded, and “is seeking full restitution of the missing funds.”

The VPD is investigating the apparent theft.

 

Posted 5/23/2014