An accountant has been accused of stealing more than $700,000 from a Bethesda-based national nonprofit organization that advocates for vocational training to help the mentally and physically disabled get jobs.
Kymberli Rand was hired by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation in 2002. According to court documents filed in Greenbelt's federal court, she had exclusive responsibility over the organization's finances and used that authority to steal $700,000 over the past eight years to pay off her American Express bill. At times, she also used CSAVR's credit card to buy personal items such as food and shoes, documents said.
"We are hoping justice will be done quickly, and as much restitution as possible will be made" CSAVR Chief Executive Officer Carl Suter told The Washington Examiner. "It's an unfortunate situation, but our organization will survive."
The nonprofit was formed in 1940 and is composed of the chief administrators of state rehabilitation agencies that provide vocational training to the mentally and physically disabled. Suter said CSAVR is funded by membership dues.
According to CSAVR's Web site, the organization's mission is to maintain and enhance a "a national program of public vocational rehabilitation services which empowers individuals with disabilities to achieve employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into our communities."
Charging documents say Rand attempted to conceal the fraud in part by misappropriating funds designated to the retirement accounts of some CSAVR employees, and placing them in operating funds. She allegedly then created fraudulent e-mails claiming to be from the organization's 401(k) administrator assuring the employees that there was nothing wrong with their accounts.
Authorities say Rand also provided false audit papers supposedly from the organization's auditor, which showed that CSAVR's finances were in order.
"It's difficult when you trust somebody and that trust is betrayed," Suter said. "In the nonprofit world, or any other."