Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Former Nonprofit Treasurer Sentenced To 30 Months

The former treasurer of the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise was sentenced to 30 months in jail after being convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from the charity's fund.

Randall Morrison, 50, was sentenced Monday in a U.S. District Court in Seattle, Wash., according to an article on Morrison was also ordered to pay $112,220 in restitution. He had earlier admitted to stealing $142,000 from the nonprofit's fund, which left the small holiday charity facing bankruptcy. Morrison had no affiliation with the organization's larger affiliate, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Masada called Morrison's crimes "inexcusable," noting that his salary was at times as high as $160,000 a year. The money stolen from the fund would have been used to finance holiday cruises for sick children and their families who have displaced from their homes during Christmas because of these illnesses. Masada said that Morrison used the money to finance his personal lifestyle. For his part, Morrison said he was motivated to steal because of gambling debts he had while he struggled to deal with his wife's health problems. His attorney, Lynn Hartfield, told the court he has since stopped gambling and is seeking treatment for his addiction.

While Morrison serves his 30 months in prison, the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise has been forced to cut back on its activities because of the lost money. This includes significantly curtailing the Holiday Cruise and festivals on Mother's Day, Father's Day, and an Easter brunch.

Morrison was able to steal the money undetected for years after he joined the organization in 2005 because of a lack of internal safeguards at the organization. The embezzlement only came to light in 2009, when his new employer contacted the charity about discrepancies on his business credit card. An investigation subsequently revealed that more than $100,000 had gone missing.

Further investigation did show that Morrison repaid $30,000 in 2006. In a letter to the court, Hartfield wrote that Morrison is remorseful for his crimes and is "concerned" about the long-term impact of his actions on his wife and children.

You can read the full story on this case on SeattlePi's website.

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