A Different Identity | Nonprofit Fraud Blog

Reposted from the This Week in Nonprofit Fraud Blog – August 18, 2014

A Different Identity
Photo courtesy of Irvin Calicut, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share

August 11, 2014: Simone Nicole Gray has pleaded guilty to mail and Social Security fraud in connection with her defrauding the American Kidney Fund out of over $65,000. Using the name and Social Security number of someone else, Gray was able to gain employment at a Houston medical clinic as a financial coordinator. In this role, Gray was tasked with verifying insurance information and assisting patients with their financial needs. As part of the scheme, Gray submitted false grant applications to the American Kidney Fund on behalf of patients undergoing dialysis, forged patient signatures when grant checks arrived to her attention and deposited the funds into her personal bank account. She faces up to 25 years in prison for the two charges.

See more on this case at KHOU.com

Lessons Learned

  • Gray was able to become gainfully employed with the organization by using the name and Social Security number of someone other than herself. It is critical that your organization conduct an independent background check on potential employees, so as not to take them at their word.
  • Gray had the ability to both submit claims and open mail containing grant checks sent to her attention, thus allowing her to avoid detection.

Raffa Forensic Practice Tips:

  • An independent workplace and background investigation can help to uncover any inconsistencies in a potential employee’s application.
  • Does your organization have adequate segregation of duties over handling of cash receipts?

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Photo courtesy of vocm.com

August 12, 2014: Husband and wife, John and Catherine Dinn, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud after financial inconsistencies came to light at St. John the Evangelist Church in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. The couple combined to alter payee information on five checks totaling $9,600 destined for charity and instead deposited the funds into their personal bank account. After John Dinn was suspended from his role as a priest at the church, his replacement discovered $1,625 in cash meant to pay for weddings at the church was also stolen by Dinn. Once the scheme was uncovered, Catherine Dinn admitted that she helped forge the checks to pay for her two sons to continue their college education after a car accident resulted in her inability to work, a loss of income and a reliance on painkillers. The Dinn’s have already paid over $8,000 of the stolen money back as they await sentencing at the end of the month.

See more on this case at CBC News and The Telegram

Lessons Learned

  • An unfortunate car accident led to this couple seeing no other way to pay for their two son’s college education. “Pressure” is a key element of every fraud, as desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • A trusted priest carried out this fraud against his own parish. When the right pressures and opportunities present themselves, anyone is capable of committing a fraud.

Raffa Forensic Practice Tips:

  • Know your employees! Be aware of major life events or financial hardships that your employees may be facing, as the possibility exists that these circumstances could lead to fraud against your organization.
  • Do you truly know your employees well enough that you would be able to identify a change in their behavior?


The Raffa Forensic Accounting Services Practice offers a wide variety of fraud prevention and detection services including Fraud Risk Assessments, Background and Workplace Investigations, Fraud and Internal Investigations, Transactional Due Diligence Investigations, Anti-Fraud Consulting and Training, and Computer Forensic Analysis.

For more information on the Raffa Forensic Accounting Services Practice please visit us at www.raffa.com/ProfessionalServices/Forensic/ and the Nonprofit Fraud Prevention Institute at www.raffa.com/Fraud.

You can also contact the following Raffa professionals with any questions or if your organization needs assistance in fraud prevention:

Lawrence J. Hoffman, CPA/CFF, CVA, CFE, Senior Partner:  Lhoffman@raffa.com
Leslie C. Kirsch, CFE, Manager:  Lkirsch@raffa.com

This entry was posted in Forensic Accounting, Fraud Prevention and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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