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WCBD-TV: Homeless shelter employee accused of embezzling $11K

June 11, 2013

By Cuthbert Langley

CHARLESTON, SC

An employee with Crisis Ministries has been accused of embezzling more than $11,000 from the homeless shelter.

The CEO of Crisis Ministries, Stacy Denaux, reported the possible embezzlement to police on Friday.

According to the report, Denaux told police that Carol Libby had deposited at least ten different checks, meant for other organizations that work with the shelter, into her personal account.

Police say the Wells Fargo Loss prevention division alerted the shelter of the discrepancies, which totaled $11,009.20. The money was taken from operating accounts and routine operating expenses, according to the shelter.

“Crisis Ministries is deeply distressed to discover last Thursday via a phone call from their bank, Wells Fargo, that the organization had been the unknowing victim of an apparent embezzlement at the hands of a long time employee, Carol Libby, who had served as chief financial officer for 10 years, without incident,” spokesperson Elizabeth Boineau said.

News 2 went to an address neighbors confirmed to be Libby’s home, but no one answered the door.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident and no arrests have been made at this time.

Libby has been suspended without pay, pending the investigation.

A spokesperson says the ministry does not expect any program or service to be comprised by the alleged embezzlement.

Here is the full statement from Crisis Ministries:

Crisis Ministries was deeply distressed to discover last Thursday via a call from their bank, Wells Fargo, that the organization had been the unknowing victim of an apparent embezzlement at the hands of a long time employee, Carol Libby, who served as chief financial officer for 10 years, without incident. The organization is working closely with the City of Charleston Police Department to discover all details of what transpired. In the meantime, Ms. Libby has been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the investigation, effective today, Monday, June 10, 2013.

Loyal to its mission, Crisis Ministries exists to provide food, shelter and hope to end homelessness and hunger one person at a time, one family at a time. The organization can only do that through the support of staff, volunteers and generous donors who are critical to the organization and its success. The last several years Crisis Ministries has worked ardently, with tremendous community support, to add to the core financial base to weather the storm of the recession and to respond to a larger need. To learn that any part of those hard earned funds from donors and other sources was compromised is beyond disappointing. There are numerous checks and balances in place that should have prevented this from occurring, both within the organization and the financial institution. That said, we are not sure how any organization fully protects itself against individuals with their own agendas and illicit/illegal intent, if that is what is proven to have occurred here.

Crisis Ministries does not expect any program or service to be compromised by this unfortunate event and remains committed to its critical mission to serve the homeless.

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