Former Director Embezzled $111,000 From Animal Shelter

The former director of a North Carolina animal shelter made more than $67,000 in unauthorized purchases using the shelter’s credit cards and stole more than $44,000 in cash generated by the shelter, according to an audit.
Kerry Lengyel
Published: March 20, 2017
The Carteret County Humane Society and Animal Shelter in Newport, North Carolina lost more than $100,000 in a case of embezzlement by its former director.
The former director, who is not named in the state audit released Thursday, made personal purchases on the shelter’s credit cards and misappropriated some of the shelter’s cash receipts. 
Between January 2014 and July 2016, more than 2200 unauthorized purchases were made with the shelter’s 5 credit cards, amounting to a spend of more than $67,000. Among the questionable purchases identified by the audit:
  • More than $15,000 in convenience store purchases, including cigarettes, cigars, energy drinks, alcoholic and other beverages, and snacks
  • Nearly $8500 in items purchased from Walmart, including food, diapers, an Easy-Bake Oven, and clothing
  • Over $4300 in restaurant and fast food purchases
  • $3200 in payments to the director’s children’s day care center
  • A $3000 down payment on a Chevrolet Traverse SUV and more than $6500 on auto insurance and car rentals
  • More than $11,000 in cell phone purchases and services
  • Almost $6000 on utilities, a storage unit, and local motels
  • Nearly $1000 spent on sporting goods, Netflix, online dating, and Xbox Live
In addition, more than $44,000 in cash generated by the shelter between January 2014 and July 2015 was not deposited into the shelter’s bank account.
According to the audit, "A shelter employee said all cash collected was kept in a locked drawer in the former shelter director’s office. The employee added she would see cash in the locked drawer one day, and the next day it would be replaced with a 'sticky note' from the former shelter director indicating that she owed the shelter money.”
"Another shelter employee stated she witnessed the former shelter director separating the cash from shelter sales receipts and placing the cash in her back pocket,” the audit continues.
The former director could not explain this missing cash and did not have any receipts to show the purpose behind any of the questionable purchases.
To continue obtaining funds from the county, the shelter is now required to submit to county officials monthly financial statements, an annual audit report, and minutes from its meetings.
Findings from the State Auditor’s Office have been turned over to the Carteret County District Attorney’s Office to determine if criminal charges will be filed against the former director. 

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