Update: Michelle Medrick, the former business manager for Cleveland Catholic Charities who admitted to embezzling more than $2 million from the non-profit over the course of six years, was sentenced yesterday by a federal judge to more than five years in prison.
The 58-year-old North Royalton woman engaged in a scheme where she wrote more than 1,400 checks from the organization's account to cash, which she then cashed.
“This defendant stole millions of dollars from the vulnerable men, women and children who are supported by the good works of Catholic Charities,” said acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja. “The Diocese uncovered the fraud, came forward to federal authorities and cooperated fully.”
(Update 1/13/17): Michelle Medrick, who worked for Cleveland Catholic Charities for 28 years, admitted to embezzling $2 million from the organization since 2008.
The scheme, as it was basically laid out: When she received payments for Catholic Charities invoices, she deposited them in the account of Parmadale instead of Catholic Charities. She then wrote checks for cash to herself from that account.
The total number of checks: 1,449.
The non-profit was reimbursed the stolen funds via insurance but Judge Christopher Boyko is likely to ask her to give a portion of the money back to the organization as well. Medrick is facing between 33 and 63 months in prison under the plea, according to Cleveland.com
. She'll be sentenced April 27.
(Original story 12/28/16): A former Cleveland Catholic Charities employee who worked at various times as the non-profit's comptroller and business manager was charged today with embezzling $2 million from the organization.
58-year-old Michelle Medrick of North Royalton allegedly used her position to steal millions between 2008 and March of this year.
In a statement last month when the allegations (but not the employee's name) came to light, CEO Patrick Gareau said in a statement, "We are shocked and disappointed that this occurred. Stewardship is one of the core values of our organization and we take the trust granted to us by our supporters, clients and community very seriously. We are working closely with our audit committee and board of directors and have taken steps to strengthen and improve our internal controls and oversight of systems within the organization."
An independent forensic audit was conducted by an outside firm and the FBI investigated. Medrick allegedly altered checks and used donor checks for personal income, among other nefarious acts of embezzlement.
Catholic Charities has insurance for this sort of thing and has already recouped the missing sum.