Man pleads guilty to stealing from nonprofit

Southwest Michigan
Randall Norton

A July 2019 booking photo of Randall Norton. (St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office)

THREE RIVERS, Mich. (WOOD) — The former executive director of a youth organization in Southwest Michigan accused of stealing money from the nonprofit group has accepted a plea agreement.

Randall Norton pleaded guilty Thursday to larceny of more than $200 but less than $1,000, according to a St. Joseph County clerk.

In July, Norton was charged with embezzling between $1,000 and $20,000 from a nonprofit charitable organization. On Thursday, prosecutors dropped that charge, the clerk said.

Three Rivers police say the incoming executive director of Three Rivers Area Mentoring alerted them to the possible crime by outgoing leader Norton in January, after finding “inconsistencies” in the group’s accounting records.

Police say an audit submitted three months later determined TRAM’s debit card was misused and the board was fed bogus reports about the group’s accounts. The audit also found some cash deposits and grant funding were missing, according to investigators.

As part of an agreement, Norton will serve no jail time, the clerk said. His sentence is still pending, but restitution will be ordered.

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