CLEVELAND — A Catholic charities organization in Cleveland says it has fired a longtime employee after discovering an alleged fraud scheme that resulted in the theft of $1.9 million over seven years.
Cleveland.com reports an official with the Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland says law enforcement officials are still investigating. Organization president and CEO Patrick Gareau didn’t identify the employee or say which law enforcement agency is investigating.
Gareau says the organization began its investigation after discovering irregularities in financial documents at a single satellite office and hired an independent forensic accounting firm to conduct an examination. He did not specify which office was involved and no other details were immediately released.
The website for the Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland says it has offices in eight counties in northeastern Ohio.
“We are shocked and disappointed that this occurred,” Gareau said in a statement.
“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.”
The organization said it began its investigation after discovering irregularities in financial documents at a single satellite office. An independent forensic accounting firm was hired to conduct an examination, Gareau said.
The $1.9 million represents less than 3 percent of the revenue processed at the satellite office. Catholic Charities is insured for theft and has been reimbursed for the stolen funds, Gareau said.