Editorial: Watch out for sticky fingers

Any organization or fund set up for someone or some cause is susceptible to sticky fingers.

We’ve had a few cases locally that illustrate this point: a local volunteer fire company was taken over by Warren County this year as the result of complaints and financial irregularities. Two women embezzled money from the same school’s PTO in separate incidences. Last week a Strasburg woman was sentenced to a year in prison after stealing funds for an account set up for a child who died of cancer.

On Tuesday, the former head of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging – which provides much needed services like Meals on Wheels for seniors in our area – entered guilty pleas to three counts of embezzlement. The financial crisis that erupted in 2011 as a result of this case left the agency struggling to pay its bills.

Let these cases be a warning: money is a magnet. Put strict measures into place to account for every penny in your group’s bank account. Protect your funds and reputation – donors will go away if they see that their money is not being used properly.