Office of Children and Family Services

Division of Criminal Justice Services

Misappropriation of Grant Funds from the Lake Plains YMCA

The Lake Plains YMCA in Western New York is a not-for-profit organization that provides various programs for the youth in its community. It is funded by memberships, fees, contributions and grants. During the 46-month period covered by our audit, it received nearly $153,000 in grants from the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and about $30,000 in grants from the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). In response to a request from the Division of State Police, which was investigating an alleged theft of funds from the Lake Plains YMCA, we examined certain aspects of that organizationís financial management practices.

We determined that most of the grant funds provided by OCFS and DCJS were either diverted to unauthorized accounts or stolen by the organizationís Executive Director before they were deposited, and were not used for their intended purposes. The fraudulent activity was not detected because the Executive Director fabricated expense claims, altered records and destroyed documents, and the local government agencies responsible for monitoring the use of the grant funds did not check the accuracy of the expense claims submitted for reimbursement and did not verify that the funded programs were delivered. We recommended that OCFS and DCJS recover the misappropriated funds and work with the local government agencies to strengthen their monitoring practices.

For a complete copy of Report 2002-S-20 click here.
For a copy of the OCFS 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the DCJS 90-day response click here.