Edmonton charity defrauded of more than $200K, employee charged: EPS

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Edmonton police have charged a woman they believe embezzled money from a local charity.

Following an extensive investigation, Edmonton Police Service found the charity had been defrauded of more than $200,000 by an employee.

On Oct. 27, 2020, leadership at the Alberta Foster and Kinship Association (AFKA) told police they discovered their accountant, Brenda Rabie, 43, had been transferring funds into personal accounts for 10 months.

On Oct. 7, 2021, Rabie, was charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

Police found a total of $209,000 had been e-transferred into multiple accounts “controlled” by Rabie between Nov. 8, 2019, and Oct. 26, 2020.

According to police, Rabie did not come in for her shifts while the financial audit at AFKA was taking place, which led to the discovery of the fraudulent activity.

“We suggest organizations segregate their accounting functions and use a system of checks and balances to ensure no one person has control over multiple significant parts of a financial transaction,” Const. Shawn Joseph, with EPS, said.

Police also recommend businesses implement measures to protect their organizations and employees from fraud, like background and reference checks of potential hires and procedures that require multiple signatories.

Some of the key indicators of potential theft include:

  • Sudden apparent devotion to work or working late
  • Lifestyles are well above salary levels
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Moonlighting with materials available at the business
  • Evidence of compulsive gambling