A number of media outlets have reported that allegedly March of Dimes Canada has been hit with a $800,000 fraud over an 8 year period. Here is a report from consumer reporter Sean O’Shea. "Toronto woman charged in alleged defrauding of the March of Dimes of $800K"
What can we learn from this event? Here are some quick thoughts:
Unfortunately, we far too regularly assist charities that have been defrauded. Every charity should be reviewing their internal controls at least annually. Also you might find this guidance from the Charity Commission of Engalnd and Wales on Internal Financial Controls for charities helpful. The main reason you should have internal controls is that people are human and make unintentional mistakes. If you have a system to prevent mistakes you will save your organization from lots of headaches and also make it less likely that someone will deliberately take advantage of the charity.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.