Most Active Stories
Tue November 27, 2012
Woodruff Arts Center Uncovers Suspected Embezzlement of More than $1.4 Million
Officials at Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center say they have discovered an embezzlement scheme that cost the Woodruff nearly 1.5 million dollars over five years.
Arts Center CEO Virginia Hepner declined to identify the person suspected. But she told WABE the former mid-level employee has admitted submitting bogus invoices. She said it was someone "who regularly would be overseeing payables to various vendors for services to the Center."
Hepner said the Arts Center does not believe anyone else was involved, but is investigating how the alleged scheme went undetected by its officials and auditors for so long.
"We're appalled, frankly, that it wasn't discovered," Hepner said, in an interview with WABE's Denis O'Hayer. "Any amount, any amount, is totally unacceptable."
Hepner said the results of the Woodruff Arts Center’s internal probe have been turned over to the Atlanta U.S. Attorney’s office. Officials there said they have received the material, but can say no more than that. They also declined to identify the person suspected.
Hepner said the Arts Center is looking into possible ways of recovering the money, and said the suspected embezzlement did not adversely affect any of the programs of the Atlanta Symphony, High Museum, Alliance Theatre, or Young Audiences--the four major arms of the Woodruff Arts Center.
She added that all internal accounting processes will be reviewed for possible long-term changes. But, for now, she said, "We are controlling every payment that goes out of the Center."
"The 5:44" with Denis O'Hayer