CASA worker allegedly steals over $40k

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Orange police are investigating alleged credit card abuse that charged tens of thousands of dollars to a Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Sabine Neches Region credit card.
According to a police report dated Jan. 31, Johnny Trahan and Kimela Dickerson, the president and vice-president of the CASA board respectively, reported to police that an unnamed employee of the nonprofit used a credit card without consent to steal money from the organization.
They requested that the employee be arrested and charges brought against her.
It is not yet clear whether anyone has been arrested in connection with the alleged abuse. A call to the Orange Police Department was not immediately returned.
According to leaked financial documents, the credit card was used on repeated occasions for cash at casinos, airline tickets, party supplies, restaurants and rental cars. In addition, more than $4,500 was spent on Carnival Cruise Lines.
However, Trahan said CASA had insurance to protect against fraud and credit card abuse, meaning they will be reimbursed for all the alleged abuse and no donations were used or taken through the alleged abuse. The allegedly fraudulent charges began in the middle of 2014 and continued through January 2017 and they total more than $40,000.
In an interview, Tahan said he did not want to go into specific detail about the alleged abuse as the matter is still under police investigation. However, he did wanted to stress that the charity is operating as usual.
“The public needs to know that we’re continuing our mission on protecting neglected and abused children and we’re not set back by this at all,” Trahan said.
CASA uses a team of volunteers to work with children in the foster care system.
Trahan declined to say how the alleged fraud was noticed. However, Trahan said once the alleged abuse was caught, the board acted swiftly to fire the culprit.
“She is no longer with us and the board took quick and decisive action,” he said.
Again, Trahan assured the community that CASA was not set back by the alleged abuse.
“We’re moving on and we’re doing the business we’re here for,” he said.

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