Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Former Nonprofit Exec Dies After Indictment

A former chief financial officer (CFO) of an Austin, Tex.-based nonprofit died only days after she was indicted for theft.

According to The American-StatesmanMary Ann Hernandez, 58, was charged with funneling more than $100,000 from Austin Resource Center for Independent Living Inc (ARCIL) to her personal credit card accounts from 2005 to 2009. She was arrested hours after her indictment on March 1 and was released after posting $250,000 bail. Authorities said she died on March 6. The cause of her death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy.

The indictment charged Hernandez of two felonies: One count of misapplication of fiduciary property with a value of $100,000 or more but less than $200,000 and another count of theft of $200,000 or more but less than $100,000. These all stemmed from accusations that, between March 2, 2005, and Jan. 30, 2009, she allegedly transferred checks from ARCIL's Bank of America account to make payments on her Visa credit card accounts.

The investigation of Hernandez started after the state auditor's office was contacted by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which had contracted with ACRIL from 2005 to 2009 to provide rental assistance to disabled people. The accusations against Hernandez were also reported in an earlier edition of NPTtv.

With their only suspect now gone, prosecutors are discussing whether to dismiss the case. Jason Knutson, an assistant district attorney with the state's Public Integrity Unit, told The American-Statesman that she was in charge of all the money as CFO, so they have no reason to believe anybody else was involved.

You can read the full story in The American-Statesman.

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