Funds from grants must be used in accordance with the intended project. When funds aren't used properly, the organization or individual might be accused of a variety of actions. Two Maryland non-profit organizations have recently been accused of misusing federal funds that were meant to weatherize low-income homes. As a result, the two non-profits are forbidden from doing business with the federal government for 3 years. Criminal and civil action is also possible.
The two non-profit organizations are said to have collected a total of $1.5 million from the government from 2009 through 2013 that is considered to be from unsupported, improper or prohibited reimbursements. It is said that those flagged funds could have weatherized 100 additional low-income homes in Maryland.
One of the non-profit organizations has denied the accusations of fraud. The founder of C&O notes that he thought his company was handling the accounting procedures properly. In the report, which the founder is disputing, C&O allegedly billed the government for higher-grade insulation than what was used in homes. The report cited 33 examples of that allegation.
It was also noted that $130,000 in personal credit card expenses were charged to the government under the classification of "Supplies - Other." Those charges are said to be for travel, meals and other expenses. A $4,000 donation to the founder's child's school was also made under that classification.
The allegations against these two non-profits have already resulted in a bar from doing business with the federal government. Those involved may also face criminal charges.
Anyone who is accused of fraud or other similar crimes should work to understand the charges against him or her. They should also work to find out about possible defense options so they can decide how to handle the case.
Source: The Washington Post, "Two Md. nonprofits overcharged U.S. government, misused grant money, auditors say," Josh Hicks, Aug. 04, 2015