Philadelphia, April 30, 2015 – City of Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland and United States Attorney Zane Memeger announced that Rodnell Griffin, 67, was charged by indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, with defrauding the local non-profit for which she worked of more than $90,000. Griffin, of Philadelphia, was charged with ten counts of wire fraud in connection with ATM withdrawals from non-profit bank accounts following an investigation by the Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to the indictment, between 2007 and 2013, Griffin used the non-profit’s corporate ATM card to withdraw more than $85,000 in funds, and she incurred more than $5,300 in associated bank fees. The indictment further charged that Griffin made several ATM withdrawals at local casinos, Sugarhouse and Parx, and used the non-profit’s funds for personal expenses.
“Charitable organizations that receive City funding and other valuable tax benefits exist to help members of our community who may have no other avenue of assistance. When non-profit employees choose to act in their own self-interests, rather than in furtherance of the charity, already disadvantaged people have to suffer even more,” said Inspector General Amy Kurland. “This case represents another step in our fight to protect charitable interests and taxpayer money. I would like to thank our federal law enforcement partners for their continued cooperation and shared commitment.”
Griffin formerly served as Executive Director of the Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee (HPNAC), a registered tax-exempt organization that provides essential goods and services to some of Philadelphia’s most underserved residents. The organization, located in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia, offers food, clothing and other assistance to individuals and families in need. HPNAC is primarily funded by the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development through a federal grant administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If convicted, Griffin faces a possible advisory guideline sentencing range of 30 to 37 months in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, restitution to the organization and a $1,000 special assessment. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Abrams.