Police: Ex-leader bilked nonprofit out of nearly $20K

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 is accused of embezzling about $20,000 from the nonprofit group.

Three Rivers police say the incoming executive director of Three Rivers Area Mentoring alerted them to the possible crime by outgoing leader Randall 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.

Three Rivers police say detectives who combed through flagged transaction records determined TRAM paid out nearly $10,000 in funding to Norton for “personal expenses,” and more than $11,000 as “excess payroll.”

Authorities say they also interviewed Norton before sending the case onto the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

Norton is charged with embezzling between $1,000 and $20,000 from a nonprofit charitable organization.

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