Detectives to investigate alleged embezzlement case at Pet Network in Tahoe
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; A former employee of the Incline Village-based nonprofit Pet Network allegedly embezzled nearly $8,000 over the past few months, an official said Tuesday.
The pet adoption and boarding agency reported the incident last Thursday, Nov. 5, in a complaint to the Washoe County Sheriffand#8217;s Office stating $7,628 was missing, including items used at the groupand#8217;s fundraisers and some timecard mismanagement.
and#8220;We will use every means at our disposal to recover these funds,and#8221; said Becky Goodman, Pet Network executive director. and#8220;We are sad a trusted employee would steal these funds.and#8221;
She declined to give the personand#8217;s name.
Goodman said the funds were discovered during a routine check of the agencyand#8217;s books last week; they disappeared over the past few months, she said.
and#8220;We identified this very, very quickly,and#8221; Goodman said.
In a Monday interview, WCSO Capt. David Nickoley, who commands the countyand#8217;s detectives, said the case hadnand#8217;t yet been assigned, but expected someone would take over the investigation by Tuesday.
Goodman said there is one suspect and#8212; an employee from July 2008 until last week. She declined to elaborate on the personand#8217;s job duties there, but said the person left the position after the agency discovered the alleged crime last week.
Chris Beckstead, an Incline resident who chairs the Pet Network board, said she was very upset when she heard the news.
and#8220;We were very saddened and troubled by this and will do everything we can to work with the authorities,and#8221; Beckstead said.
Goodman reassured donors of the safety of their contributions, which she said are critical as the agency embarks on a holiday funding drive.
and#8220;Their money is absolutely safe,and#8221; Goodman said. and#8220;We take every precaution to make sure donations are used for their intended purpose. The fact this individual was caught so early is a testament to Pet Networkand#8217;s diligence in managing finances and donations.and#8221;
David Hardie, an Incline resident who supports Pet Network along with his wife as a donor, said the event hasnand#8217;t shaken their confidence in the agency.
and#8220;It was good to see that they were proactive,and#8221; Hardie said. and#8220;Fraud is going to occur, and I respect the fact the organization dealt with it so promptly. Our support continues.and#8221;
Last year, Pet Networkand#8217;s largest revenue generators came from private donations ($250,000), the Fur Ball fundraiser ($150,000) and pet boarding ($140,000), according to the agency.