Woman Admits Scamming Homeless-Related Minnesota Non-Profit
Minneapolis, MN (KROC AM News) - A woman has pleaded guilty to taking part in a scam involving a Twin Cities non-profit organization that provides housing and related services to the homeless.
US Attorney Erica H. MacDonald says 49-year-old Aishia Bell of Minneapolis became the 12th person to admit being involved in the conspiracy. She will be sentenced at a later date.
According to Bell’s plea, she devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the organization where she worked of charitable funds intended to help the homeless. MacDonald says the scam began in 2014 when Bell recruited an individual to pose as a vendor providing services to fictitious homeless clients, and then directed the person to submit fraudulent IRS Forms W-9, lease agreements, and check requests that falsely claimed to provide housing to homeless clients. Bell and a co-conspirator then submitted the fraudulent check requests and supporting documentation to the organization’s accounts payable department.
MacDonald says between November 2014 and June 2017, Bell caused the transmission of 69 bogus checks totaling nearly $170,000.