A Massachusetts state auditor has demanded a Charlestown nonprofit return $130,000 after it was accused of using the funds on outside expenses.
The Boston Herald reported today that Charlestown, Mass.-based Life Focus Center Inc. allegedly used the funds, which were intended to help the disabled, to pay for food, alcohol, and other expenses while on a vacation in Disney World. The organization has denied these claims.
State auditor Suzanne M. Bump called the charges a "horrifying" waste of taxpayer money, and ordered Life Focus to refund $130,000 to the state. This information was revealed after an audit of the nonprofit, which showed that Executive Director Jack Millerick charged over $123,000 on the agency's credit card in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. While a good portion of the money was allegedly spent during the Disney World vacation, nearly 40 percent of the purchases in 2010 were made in New Hampshire, where Millerick has a vacation home. He has told Bump's office that all of the purchases made during the Disney vacation were business-related, and blamed payments for gas on "human error."
Aside from the improper spending, Life Focus Center executives are also accused of hiring family members. The auditor's report stated that Millerick hired his wife, Karyn, to serve as communications director, a position which paid her $85,000 in 2010. He also paid his brother-in-law $6,600 for maintenance services but did not report those expenses to the IRS or state tax officials.
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