Unintended Consequences

What starts as a local embezzlement can lead to other unplanned and greater consequences, even the elimination of an entire organization and headlines in national news.

Here is a story I found tonight that reminded me of an embezzlement case close to home that resulted in serious consequences.

I was a member of a volunteer ambulance association, and as luck had it, our treasurer, the chief’s most prized and promoted member of our service, stole thousands to purchase and renovate his house.

As if the theft wasn’t bad enough, news of the stolen funds was leaked to the media. Our ambulance service became the topic of many articles. The quality of our care to patients, our call response times, and anything and everything else that could be drummed up fueled the articles and attention against us. The resulting pressure of the other issues nearly put the association out of existence.

I am sure our treasurer never intended for any of those things to happen. He simply identified an easy source of funds and seized the opportunity.

Embezzlement scandal throws New York bowlers into gutter

I theithacajournal.com

December 1, 2008

SYRACUSE – New York is making bowling history, but for all the wrong reasons.

The association that represents the nation’s bowlers kicked out the New York chapter and its 85,000 bowlers over an embezzlement scandal. United States Bowling Congress chief operating officer Kevin Dornberger says it’s the first time the group has rescinded a state charter.

Stephen Donahue of Weedsport faces felony charges in connection with the alleged theft of $274,000. In May, the national bowling congress removed the 54-year-old as New York’s manager and as its state tournament director.

Dornberger says with New York’s ouster the state chapter’s money is frozen and no state tournament sanctioned by the national bowling congress can be held. The New York chapter is challenging the move in court.

http: //www.theithacajournal.com/article/20081201/NEWS01/81201004

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