Woman Accused of Stealing Thousands from Nonprofit Sentenced to 3 Years in Jail
HARLINGEN – A woman accused of stealing thousands from a non-profit organization will spend the next three years behind bars.
According to authorities, Roberta Rogers stole more than $100,000 during her time as treasurer at the Harlingen Elks Lodge.
Organization leaders told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they're glad she's being held accountable for the damage she caused the organization.
John Crouch is the Past Exalted Leader. He said 2016 is a year he'd like to forget.
"It kind of ripped the lodge apart because you had friendships, and I mean this person wasn't just an employee, she was a member," he said.
Crouch said it was around that time he discovered several thousand dollars missing.
A Harlingen police investigation revealed Rogers was pocketing the money. She was arrested in February 2016.
On Thursday, Rogers made a plea deal with state prosecutors and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.
"It doesn't matter if it's a food pantry, or what it is," Crouch said, "there's going to be consequences if you steal from a charitable organization, just like you would be if you did from a regular business."
The lodge was unable to recover the money they worked so hard to raise to help others, he said.
"Who suffered was the kids," Crouch said. "I mean, that money was all earmarked for drug awareness training, for special needs kids to go up to camp in Ottine and Gonzalez. It was earmarked for scholarships for local graduating seniors – it's all gone."
Crouch said the lodge put in place a stricter oversight on finances to make sure this doesn't happen again.
He's asking other non-profits to be vigilant of their finances on a monthly basis to avoid becoming victimized.