Updated 10/10/2012 06:02 PM
Non-profit employee charged with stealing thousands from organization
A man tasked with raising funds for a charity that helps those dealing with terminal illness has been charged with stealing from that very charity. YNN's Matt Hunter has the details.
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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- “When Rob applied for the position of outreach coordinator, we thought it was a godsend," Mark Griffin said Wednesday.
Robert Spratt's job was supposed to be to raise money and awareness for the House of Grace of the Adirondacks, a Glens Falls non-profit that provides in-home hospice care to patients battling terminal illness. On Tuesday, the 44-year-old was arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from that very charity.
"It came as a great shock to us because of the reputation of Mr. Pratt in the community," said Griffin, serves as president of the House of Grace’s board of directors.
According to Glens Falls Police, Pratt stole more than $26,000 between October 2011 and June of this year. He reportedly falsified checks written to himself, claiming to have paid for a range of services and then sought to be reimbursed.
"He was claiming he was paying this with his own money and looking for reimbursement when in fact, money was never owed or paid out to these agencies," Glens Falls Police Sergeant Peter Casertino said.
Pratt was arraigned and posted bail Tuesday.
Prior to his time at House of Grace, he worked for and raised funds for a string of local non-profits. Part of his job was to help the House of Grace collect enough donations to re-open after closing down last January.
"It's just too bad our plans have to be delayed somewhat until we can recoup from this," Griffin said.
Griffin says the organization has filed an insurance claim and will likely receive most of its lost funds back. But no amount of money will ever buy back the trust he says they gave Pratt.
"Quite honestly, he betrayed the trust of a lot of people in this organization," Griffin said.
While they could not provide specifics, Glens Falls police confirmed Pratt is being investigated for similar crimes in at least two other jurisdictions.