CARS HOMES JOBS

Altamont Program raided over missing funds

Tens of thousands allegedly stolen

Thursday, December 13, 2012
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— A high-level administrator allegedly stole possibly tens of thousands of dollars from a drug and alcohol treatment organization that state officials raided on Wednesday, according to its attorney.

FBI officials seized boxes of documents from the Altamont Program at 428 Duane Ave. The nonprofit organization, founded by the Rev. Peter Young, serves more than 10,000 people annually in 17 counties throughout the state. Formally known as Peter Young Housing Industry Treatment, it helps people struggling with addiction and helps them find housing and employment, according to its website.

Attorney Kevin A. Luibrand said an internal audit two years ago found a large sum of money missing from the organization, which had been subject to state and outside audits for about 20 years. “They didn’t notice it,” he said.

Luibrand said Young contacted the state, from which the organization receives a large portion of its funds, and state officials continued the investigation.

They haven’t told the organization exactly how much money was taken. Luibrand estimated it was tens of thousands of dollars.

“It went on for a long time,” he said.

Two employees were fired immediately. Another one was eventually terminated and another one resigned rather than answering questions about the missing funds.

The Altamont Program implemented additional layers of oversight so this type of theft couldn’t happen again, according to Luibrand.

He said he understands that one of the terminated employees left the state and has recently been arrested on theft charges related to the case. He wouldn’t divulge the person’s name.

Luibrand said most of the documents the state sought had already been turned over during the course of the investigation.

“They have not provided any particular information to us as to what exactly they’re looking for beyond this employee or this group of employees,” he said.

The theft did not affect programs at Altamont, Luibrand said, as Young was able to get donations to replace those funds and contributed his own money.

Young is recovering from recent surgery and was not available for comment.

 
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