Former Financial Officer of Nonprofit Charged with Theft

September 27, 2018 — The former financial officer of a Boston-based nonprofit was arrested today and charged in connection with a fraud and embezzlement scheme that netted over $1.3 million dollars, according to the U.S. District Attorney's office in Boston.

The nonprofit was not identified.

Nicole Lescarbeau, 51, of Canton, was charged in an indictment unsealed this morning with three counts of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft, and was to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein later today.

As alleged in the indictment, Lescarbeau served as the financial officer of a small, Boston-based nonprofit organization. Her duties included managing incoming invoices, paying bills by check and wire transfer, using and paying credit cards, financial account maintenance, and bookkeeping. As a result, Lescarbeau had access to the nonprofit’s checkbook, bookkeeping and accounting software, and online bank accounts.

According to the district attorney's office, from August 2013 until her termination in January 2018, Lescarbeau stole funds from the nonprofit for her personal use by writing unauthorized checks to herself using the nonprofit’s accounting software and affixed the signatures of the authorized signers on the account.

It is also alleged that Lescarbeau repeatedly logged on to the nonprofit’s online bank accounts and directed unauthorized payments and transfers for her personal benefit, and that she made unauthorized personal charges using the nonprofit’s business credit cards.

In total, Lescarbeau allegedly embezzled approximately $1,389,317 from the nonprofit organization.

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of $1 million.

The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence that must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, one year of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, restitution, and forfeiture.