American Ireland Funds recent tax filings show how much the charity lost through alleged embezzlement
The American Ireland Fund allegedly had a total of $711,875 embezzled from its Dallas office between 2015 and 2017, recent tax filings reveal.
The Irish Times reports on the latest 990 tax filing for the New York-based charity which puts the “misappropriations” at $85,572 in 2015, $333,537 in 2016, and $292,766 in 2017.
The filing notes that the American Ireland Fund has “revised policies and procedures related to procurement, hiring procedures and oversight of financial activities.”
The Irish Times adds that the charity is seeking to recover damages of $958,000 and exemplary damages of $1.9 million against Karla Stover, formerly the charity’s director of its Texas region.
Stover has pleaded to the fifth-amendment right, the right to remain silent, in order to protect herself. The trial for the case is set to begin in February.
Members of the board of the charity organization have been asked to donate an additional $10,000 per person to not only help recover losses, but to also signal confidence in the charity, according to The Irish Times.
The American Ireland Funds filing shows that its revenue fell by 12 percent in 2018 to $28.9 million. The charity donated $20.1 million during the year via 684 grants.
In October 2018, John Fitzpatrick, the New York-based hotelier and chairman of the board of The Ireland Funds, confirmed that the fund had filed a lawsuit to recover the stolen funds. He said at the time: “The suit seeks relief from that theft, conversion, and fraud.
“When American Ireland Funds became aware of a financial issue in our Dallas office, we immediately began a thorough review of the matter.
“We uncovered evidence of a deliberate and deceitful fraud by a former employee based in Dallas. The exact amount misappropriated is still to be determined. No other senior employees were involved in the embezzlement of funds.
“In addition to seeking legal redress for these fraudulent acts, American Ireland funds has retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent review of our findings, to ascertain if there is any evidence of additional fraud and to recommend any additional fiscal safeguards and controls to further protect the fund against fraud in the future.”
David Cronin was appointed as the chief executive earlier in 2019. From January 1, New York-born former banker Eugene McQuade will serve as chief.
The American Ireland Fund, now known as the Ireland Funds, is a US-based philanthropic venture that has raised $600 million for Irish causes north and south of the Border since it was founded in 1976.