Kim Walker Hill, who was previously serving as Chairwoman of the Board for Chimes for Charity, has been indicted for stealing over $60,000 from the organization. Hill was brought up on charges of theft after an investigation revealed her involvement with missing funds.
The police department launched an investigation back in October 2016 after several Chimes for Charity board members filed complaints about financial irregularities. Authorities looked into documents spanning as far back as 2009.
According to State Gazette, Hill is being charged with unlawfully and knowingly obtaining control over approximately $63,534.18 with intent to deprive the true owner thereof, and without the owner’s effective consent. If convicted, she could face anywhere from eight to 30 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $25,000.
But this isn’t the only reason Chimes for Charity is in hot water. The investigation also revealed that in 2005, the organization failed to file an annual report with the Secretary of State Division of Business Services. Because of this, their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status was revoked. However, the organization continued to operate as a nonprofit for more than a decade.
The news comes as a shock to the small community of Dyersburg, Tennessee. For approximately 70 years, the charity has donated toys, food, and clothing to the less fortunate. Chimes for Charity officially closed up shop in October of 2016 as a result of the criminal investigation. Meanwhile, Hill’s arraignment is scheduled for this upcoming Tuesday, February 21.
It just goes to show that fraud can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why donors need to stay vigilant about any organizations they plan on donating to. Those who have suspicions about an organization’s use of funds are encouraged to notify authorities immediately.
The longer these types of organizations are operational, the more people are victimized. Charities like these give all nonprofits a bad name, which makes people less likely to donate.