create your own website




Steam Railroading Institute Says Former Employee Embezzled $200,000

Report: Warrant Issued for Former SRI Financial Director

Posted by Perry Pulse at 12:48am 5/4/19

Mobirise

Perry Pulse photo

The Steam Railroading Institute this week announced the results of an audit and preliminary investigation that show a former employee embezzled approximately $200,000 from the organization over a nearly two-year period.

Mary Lombardo, former SRI Financial Director, allegedly used a variety of methods to steal the money from SRI by directing it through multiple PayPal accounts to her personal bank accounts, arranging sole responsibility for multiple credit cards and falsifying financial reports to cover up the discrepancies. SRI officials say Lombardo used the funds to purchase gas, groceries, and many personal items for herself and her family in Michigan as well as other states, among other things.

SRI leadership first became aware of the issue at its July 2018 board meeting. A full audit was approved by the board for FY18, utilizing the professional services of Andrews Hooper & Pavlik. As it conducted its work, however, AHP determined there were financial discrepancies going back to 2016. AHP then had to change to a forensic audit, which it recently completed and turned over to Owosso Public Safety investigators. OPS has been conducting its investigation and has determined criminal charges are warranted, a news release from SRI states.

Investigations have reportedly uncovered approximately $200,000 in potentially illegal activities by Lombardo.

Media reports indicate a warrant has been issued for Lombardo and that authorities checked her home to discover that it appears she has moved out.

Read more after these sponsor messages:

Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise

The investigation is now in the hands of Shiawassee County Prosecutor Deana Finnegan. She is working with OPS Detective Sargent Rusty Lamay, who has been handling the case.

“Obviously this is a sad day for all of us here at SRI. We had every reason to trust Mary. It’s a very unfortunate set of circumstances,” said Steam Railroading Institute Executive Director Kim Springsdorf. “We’ll continue to work closely with the authorities to bring justice to this situation.”

Springsdorf explained that Lombardo was instructed by the board at its July 2018 meeting to turn over missing documentation and work with a third-party bookkeeper to provide Springsdorf and AHP what it would need for the audit.

Unfortunately, she did not comply but instead allegedly wiped clean SRI’s accounting system while Springsdorf was on vacation the following week, also allegedly doing her best to erase any paper trails. SRI officials say Lombardo then resigned before Springsdorf returned from vacation.
  
Lombardo and other staff had stepped forward to take on more responsibilities while Springsdorf was dealing with an extended personal illness in 2017 and early 2018.
  
“It’s still hard to believe she would take advantage of that situation; a time when our whole team was pulling together to ensure everything continued to run smoothly for our patrons, staff and volunteers,” continued Springsdorf.

New accounting practices have been put into place since last summer to ensure something similar doesn’t happen again, according to Springsdorf.

“We sincerely our hope that our followers will understand this terribly unfortunate situation is not representative of the integrity of the Steam Railroading Institute and who we are as an organization,” she shared.

Because the investigation is still ongoing, more details may emerge that could be announced later. No one else related to SRI is being investigated.

“The good news is we are the strongest we’ve ever been as an organization. We’re very stable financially, even with the embezzlement. We continue to build partnerships with communities and organizations so we can expand our programming and fulfill our mission of keeping steam-era railroading alive for future generations,” added Springsdorf, who joined the organization in 2015 when it was in serious financial trouble. “I’m proud of the people who work and volunteer here. I’m thankful for our members, donors, railroad industry partners and our community for their ongoing support.”

More Perry Pulse content follows these sponsor messages:

Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise

Most Played

WE ARE MESSENGERS "MAYBE IT'S OK"

Listen Now
Mobirise

SUBSCRIBE TO GET LOCAL NEWS IN YOUR INBOX

Hundreds of people are now staying connected to what's happening in and around Shiawassee County and getting access to opportunities that are exclusive to our friends with The Email Express. for free!

Community Calendar

Shiawassee County Area Events

Mobirise
Mobirise

TOP STORY

Another Multi-Employer Job Fair This Thursday In Owosso

Indian Trails, Wheeler Trucking, Elite Early Learning Center Among Local Businesses Looking to Hire 

Posted by Perry Pulse at 8:51am 4/16/19

Mobirise

Perry Pulse photo

$47,000 for Indian Trails drivers needed in Owosso, Romulus and Kalamazoo. You'll learn more about this career opportunity at a multi-employer job fair on Thursday in Owosso.

READ MORE

TRENDING NOW!

Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise
Mobirise




Shiawassee Radio Series
ShiaRobots Episode 4

Lead Mentor of Corunna Robotics "Team FridgeBot," Scott Stap, talks to Durand Railroaders Lead Mentor, Justin Shankster, in a new Shiawassee Radio Series called "ShiaRobots." The series follows Shiawassee County's robotics programs during the 2019 competitive season.
                     
4.6.19

CLICK HERE

MORE FROM PERRY PULSE

Twitter

Instagram