February 8, 2012; Source: Boston Business Journal | In the wake of embezzlement by a long-time staff person, The Boston Living Center will be absorbed into Victory Programs this year. The latter took over management of the former in July 2011 after Valerie Tebbetts, who had most recently been the Boston Living Center’s executive director, was indicted in 2010 for allegedly embezzling more than $100,000 from the agency by writing checks for her own expenses. She pled guilty in December of 2011 and was sentenced to five years of probation. The sentence also required her to pay restitution and to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings. 

Both agencies address HIV/AIDS. Tebbetts assumed the role of executive director at the Boston Living Center in 2008 when the previous executive director stepped down. She was on staff from 2000 until 2004, and starting again in 2007; before becoming executive director, she had been the director of finance and administration at the nonprofit.

It is worth repeating that when embezzlement occurs in the nonprofit sector, it is often perpetrated by people who are seen as trusted and extraordinarily hard working. One red flag should be raised if the person in charge of the finances does not want to take time off. It may mean that they do not want to leave the books open to the scrutiny of others. –Ruth McCambridge