Challenge

When it discovered that its executive director of more than 10 years had been embezzling funds from its organization, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia’s (SVDP) Board realized that its organization was on the brink of bankruptcy and that it would never identify or recoup the loss without professional help. The organization needed a nonprofit attorney to act swiftly and strategically to address its complex tax and legal issues.

How We Helped

We assembled and presented background information on the case for the District Attorney (DA), and we followed up with press coverage and initiated our own investigation when it was clear that the situation demanded additional resources. When a former FBI agent volunteered to assist with the forensic investigation in response to calls for assistance, we coordinated our efforts and focused on collections and other compliance matters.

Outcome

Through our collaborative effort, SVDP discovered a total of $278,000 in embezzlement – nearly three times the amount initially thought to have been embezzled – and recovered that amount in full. SVDP also resolved many of its outstanding debt obligations, survived its IRS audit and implemented internal controls to prevent a recurrence. With our help, SVDP is exploring new relationships and ways to carry out its charitable work as it looks toward rebuilding.