Former nonprofit director embezzled $147K

By The Associated Press

EVANSVILLE — The former director of a southwest Indiana nonprofit that provides housing to the homeless and veterans is facing federal charges accusing her of embezzling nearly $147,000 from the agency.

Stephanie TenBarge, former director of ECHO Housing Corp., was indicted in December on three counts of theft concerning programs that receive federal funding, the Evansville Courier & Press reported. The 71-year-old is accused of making unauthorized payments to herself and using the Evansville-based nonprofit’s funds to pay for personal expenses, including lawn care and work on her home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana in the case unsealed Monday.

The alleged thefts occurred from Jan. 1, 2015, through Dec. 31, 2017, the same time that the nonprofit received federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The nonprofit receives millions of dollars annually from federal, state and local taxpayer money, and owns dozens of properties that provide permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless families and veterans.

ECHO Housing filed a complaint against TenBarge in Vanderburgh Superior Court on March 13, 2018, and announced her departure from the nonprofit several days later.

The Associated Press has left a message seeking comment from TenBarge’s attorney on Tuesday.

TenBarge’s trial is set for April 8. She could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

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