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Funds missing at Greensboro Habitat

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By Remy Adams

GREENSBORO, N.C — Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro has had at least $200,000 embezzled, Habitat officials say.

An employee who since has been terminated allegedly misappropriated the money allegedly from July 2004 to June 2005, according to documents released by Habitat.

The name and position of the employee have not been released.

On discovering a discrepancy in its books, Habitat held an internal investigation and, finding the alleged embezzlement to be substantive, turned the matter over to police.

Because of the police investigation, Habitat will not release additional information, says Robert Kelley, president and executive director.

The exact amount of money that missing is not yet known, and Habitat has retained an independent accounting firm to assist in the full investigation.  According to information released by Habitat, public funds the agency receives were not involved.

Habitat is reviewing its methods of financial reporting and record-keeping, and staff involved in handling funds.

“We’re putting together an assessment of where we are and an operating plan,” he says. “A lot of important decisions need to be made and some need to be made very soon.”

Habitat, with several dozen employees and roughly 4,000 volunteers, builds 25 to 30 houses a year, and does not expect its recent problem to interrupt its work, says Kelley.

The missing money will not affect 10 houses currently under construction, he says.

Contributors, volunteers and community partners have all shown support, he says.

“We intend to stay in business and build homes,” he says. “We’ll build a lot of them at some point in the future.”

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