Crisis Ministries employee brought up on embezzlement charges

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published April 22, 2014

A former CFO for Crisis Ministries is facing federal embezzlement charges

Carol Libby was charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $440,000 from the homeless service provider from 2006 through 2013. Court documents say Libby generated more than 400 unauthorized checks from Crisis Ministries and forged the signatures of vendors.

She was also charged with five counts of wire fraud beginning with a $1,275 electronic deposit into a Wells Fargo account on March 5, 2009. Additional electronic deposits of roughly $1,000 each were made in October 2010, March 2011, January 2012 and June 2013, court documents said.

The organization — which provides food and shelter to the homeless and hungry of the Lowcountry — said law enforcement agencies began working to discover the extent of the theft in June. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart filed the charges after an investigation revealed the extent of the theft was much greater than originally uncovered, Crisis Ministries said.

Approximately $102,000 has been recovered through an insurance policy and restitution paid by Libby, according to Crisis Ministries.

“The issue of homelessness did not stop when one individual became determined to commit such a crime. Through the generous support of our donors, we have weathered the loss of funds and continue to serve the homeless men, women and children who have nowhere else to turn,” Crisis Ministries said in a statement.

Programs and services were not compromised by the loss of funds.

“Like many of our supporters, we are struggling to understand how a person can steal from an organization dedicated to serving those living in extreme poverty,” Crisis Ministries stated. “The reality is this was a sophisticated manipulation of financial statements masterminded by someone who apparently was willing and determined to steal from the organization.”

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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