It is currently Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:20 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 485
This is what concerns me about many organizations (not just railroad ones) being overly protective and / or secretive. If you are a non-profit your finances should be open for all to see and you should encourage comments and suggestions from your members. It’s also highly questionable, imho, when an organization continues to keep the same board members and presidents for decades... their should be term limits to keep things from getting stale.

The evolving nature of a museum / non-profit organizations should include and encourage total transparency and involvement of all members interested. The finances should not be hidden and only seen by a limited number of times individuals.

What does your organization do to prevent something like this from happening?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 7:34 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 577
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
This is what concerns me about many organizations (not just railroad ones) being overly protective and / or secretive. If you are a non-profit your finances should be open for all to see and you should encourage comments and suggestions from your members. It’s also highly questionable, imho, when an organization continues to keep the same board members and presidents for decades... their should be term limits to keep things from getting stale.

The evolving nature of a museum / non-profit organizations should include and encourage total transparency and involvement of all members interested. The finances should not be hidden and only seen by a limited number of times individuals.

What does your organization do to prevent something like this from happening?


I don't know where you are getting your information from, but it's technically incorrect.

All financially active 501c3 tax exempt organizations are required to file a return with IRS (called the 990) and these 990s must be made available to the public and are usually available on the guidestar web site, though understandabily there is a bit of a delay in their compilation and release.

Be careful what you wish for, 990s for organizations such as SRI can easily run to 40 or 50 pages.

Bob H


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:15 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 485
An IRS form being viewable due to laws is not what I meant about an organization being fully transparent.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:35 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 571
Location: Wall, NJ
The 990 tax returns, while useful, are quite limited as to the information they provide. Its mostly generalities, even if they are quite long. “Office expense” or “advertising” are two areas that are open to abuse as an example. What the membership needs to see is the data behind the tax return, what was budgeted, what the actuals were, etc which are not shown in a 990. If ticket income was being skimmed, that is something that can be well hidden by a creative member as another example. In talking to a local county prosecutors office, they require the inside information to make a determination if there is a problem or not. The 990s are not enough for the prosecutor, they should not be enough for the membership.

The 990s can provide some red flags for the membership to ask questions. A local organization went three years with $0 cash donations, although cash jars are out and members saw that cash donations were made. Versus multiple years of 990s where there was always some level of cash donations, the zero sum for three consecutive years stood out as a red flag. Unexplained reductions in ticket sales over some similar number of years is another area to be concerned about. And most of all, a board that provides no data to the membership, and admittedly operates in secrecy, is a major red flag. A board that changes the by-laws to prevent any change in board make up is another red flag.

So, do not depend on the 990 tax returns. Look at the obvious. What is provided to the membership when asked? Does the amount of business you see match the dollars shown in the return? How are the by-laws written? Is there an annual meeting where all budget numbers are presented? If you ask a trustee to see the budget data, what is the response?

Red flags….look for them. That is the best thing an interested member can do.

J.R. May


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2547
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
An IRS form being viewable due to laws is not what I meant about an organization being fully transparent.

Quite right. The 990 data is weak tea. The nonprofit should be *thrilled* to show you more (presuming they have nothing to hide)... because confidence in the organization is what motivates donors.

And most if not all states give Board members pretty much absolute right of inspection of everything in the organization. Steam engine inspection reports, lists of checks paid, actually every single point of financial data from the books to the receipts. When embezzlement happens, that means every Board member has been trusting instead of using their inspection rights.

Some states also give rather considerable inspection rights to other parties of interest, such as members. And yeah, Michigan is one of those, so it can be argued that this happened under the nose of the members too. If a 1225 member had been making use of those rights, it could have been a great service to the organization.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 933
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Unfortunately, embezzlement is something that occurs with some degree of regularity with the railway organizations in the UK too.

Our books are compared to the previous year via the Treasurer's Report presented at each Director's meeting (four times a year). Copies are provided for all members attending-not just officers. We have the parent organization and two subsidiary organizations, so each unit has it's own report. Our directors periodically change as we have non-member directors with voting rights who represent certain community organizations that our museum works with (by appointment from their organizations). That means that there is always a degree of outside oversight. This year we had three vacancies-two died and one did not request nomination.

It just happens that I am also the fiduciary agent for our group. I monitor the reports and ask questions whenever something unusual appears. I also ask other officers what the plans are for paying off or refinancing large capital expenses such as loans and mortgages and the various projects that we have funds committed to. It also helps that I am almost always at the main shop every weekend and have the opportunity to stick my nose into anything that's going on, so I know what's going on.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:23 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 577
kbmayer wrote:
We wanted to share this important development with you. Thank you to the Owosso Public Safety detectives as well as county law enforcement for their continued work on this unfortunate situation. We'll continue to keep you updated as next steps are determined.

City of Owosso

Steam Railroad Institute Investigation Update

This morning ,Mary Lombardo turned herself into the Shiawassee County Jail. The Shiawassee County Prosecutor's office issued a warrant for Embezzlement over $100,000 or more.


--
Kimberly Springsdorf
Executive Director


According to the 6/6 Argus Press ---


"CORUNNA — The woman accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the Steam Railroading Institute recently waived a preliminary exam in 66th District Court and was bound over to face felony charges in 35th Circuit Court.

Mary Lombardo, 40, of Morrice, pleaded not guilty in early May to a felony charge of embezzlement of $100,000 or more."

I wonder if a plea bargain is in the works.... stay tuned --- Bob H


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 577
According to 35th Circuit Court records, Mary Lombardo plead guilty to a reduced charge of embezzement of 50,000 to 100,000 on July 22.

It'll be interesting to see what her sentence is and whether SRI recovers any money.

Bob H


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:10 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 2061
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Beats me that in an era of data collection that anyone would think they could get away with this, unless they planned on doing one big hit then hot-footing it to a country they do not intend to return from that thumbs its nose at extradition to the US.
Heck, a guy in my old NRHS chapter got nailed for embezzlement for the FSU university boosters (he was their comptroller). I knew the guy and I was quite shocked to hear about it. It got him 8 years in jail which turned out to be a life sentence for him, as I just found out he passed on the 15th of this month:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2014/10/01/florida-state-fsu-seminoles-comptroller-sanford-lovingood/16569787/
https://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Former-FSU-Booster-Sentenced-to-8-Years-331675641.html
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tallahassee/obituary.aspx?n=sanford-ben-lovingood&pid=193398648

_________________
Lee Bishop


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SRI announces embezzlement by former employee
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 577
According to 35th Circuit Court records, Mary Lombardo has been sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison and will get credit for the 133 days she has already been in jail which means she wasn't able to come up with the money to come up with a bail bond.

She also has to pay restitution of $227,616.97

A 20 minute utube video of the sentencing, including a victim's statement, is available at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGvzMH2pHC0

Caveat -- the audit is marginal

It'll be interested to see if SRI recovers any of the money she embezzled .

Bob H


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 42 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: