Local News

Nearly $20K Allegedly Stolen From Fayetteville Red Cross

Posted July 6, 2005

— It is an organization known for helping others, but now a chapter of the American Red Cross in Fayetteville needs help itself.

The Highlands chapter of the non-profit organization, which covers five counties and has roughly 300 volunteers, is missing close to $20,000 and a volunteer is suspected of embezzling it, said Executive Director Jack Nales.

"We put a very special trust on our volunteers," Nales said. "When you rely on somebody, who is, we think, giving of themselves to help the people in the community, it's very painful when you learn that they violated that trust."

When the financial records did not add up, Nales said his staff suspected a certain volunteer and confronted him. Eventually, Nales said, that person confessed.

"I've been with Red Cross for eight years and this is the first time I've ever experienced this firsthand or really heard anything like this," Nales said.

Fayetteville police are investigating the case. The organization said it wants criminal charges filed and its money returned.

Nales, who said he is afraid this case will hurt donations, is offering to sit down with donors who have concerns.

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