October 18, 2017
 
Former Treasurer of Nonprofit Charged with Stealing $30K

October 6, 2017 — A former treasurer at a South Royalston nonprofit corporation was indicted last month in connection with stealing approximately $30,000 from the organization, according to an announcement from Attorney General Maura Healey.

Vickie Paine, 55, of Wayland, former treasurer of the South Royalston Improvement Corporation (SRIC), a nonprofit that manages the town of South Royalston’s water supply, was indicted on sept. 21 by a Worcester County Grand Jury on charges of larceny and false entry in corporate books, according to the AG's office.

In 2014, the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General began investigating Paine’s actions as SRIC treasurer. After uncovering evidence that Paine allegedly took SRIC funds for personal use, the Inspector General’s Office referred the case to the AG’s Office in 2016 for prosecution, the AG's office said.

“Employees who abuse their positions for personal gain by stealing money will be held accountable by our office,” Healey said. “We thank the Inspector General’s Office for bringing this matter to our attention as we continue to prosecute and investigate these crimes.”

“This case highlights the need for public agencies and nonprofits to diligently oversee their organizations’ employees and finances,” Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha said. “I’m proud of our work with the Attorney General’s Office to hold individuals accountable when they abuse positions of trust for their own financial gain.”

Paine served as the treasurer of SRIC until December 2013 and was responsible for collecting water fees and paying vendors, the AG's office noted.

Authorities allege that between 2009 and 2014, Paine took approximately $30,000 from SRIC for her personal use. Paine allegedly stole the money by writing checks to cash, which were signed and endorsed by Paine, withdrawing cash from SRIC accounts, and transferring money from SRIC accounts into her personal account.

Investigators allege that the corporate records Paine turned over when she left the SRIC show that she attempted to disguise the checks written to cash by claiming they were paid to vendors, while other checks were omitted from the check register altogether.

Springfield Woman Charged with Stealing from a Women’s Shelter

The AG's office also recently announced that a Springfield women was indicted in connection with stealing from a local women’s shelter.

Lynn Minella, 50, of Springfield, according to the AG's office, was indicted on Sept. 21 by a Hampden County Grand Jury on a larceny charge for allegedly stealing more than $4,000 in donated gift cards intended for shelter participants. She allegedly used these gift cards to purchase furniture for herself and her family members. The shelter was not identified.

Minella and Jody Farber-Winters, 47, also of Springfield, were also charged in connection with stealing more than $14,000 through various larceny schemes, including defrauding state agencies of benefits.

Authorities further allege that Minella conspired with Farber-Winters to apply for RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), a homelessness prevention program funded by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, which provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Minella and Farber-Winters allegedly applied for these benefits by using the identities of shelter participants, creating a fake property management company and forging housing court documents to steal more than $3,000 in benefits, according to the AG's office.

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