Michigan man allegedly swindled charity for the poor, using money on cars and home repairs instead

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Source: MEGA

Apr. 10 2021, Updated 5:37 p.m. ET

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A Michigan took money from a charity and instead used it on cars and home repairs, federal prosecutors allege. 

According to a federal criminal complaint, John R. Lynch, 56, of Grosse Pointe Park, was charged with stealing from the Holy Cross charity. The charges were announced this week. 

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The charitable organization is based in the Detroit area and receives federal funds under the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, as well as funding for foster care, adoption and guardianship assistance under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, according to prosecutors.  

Lynch became the CFO of the Holy Cross organization in March 2012, and CEO in January 2015.

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Authorities said Lynch used Holy Cross funds to pay for repairs to his personal cars, install a new roof on his house, pay down his personal mortgage balance and make payments on a personal American Express account, while also using his corporate Holy Cross American Express card to pay for “goods and services of a personal nature.”

Lynch also allegedly used Holy Cross funds to pay his own consulting company and to pay another company hired to provide security services at the Samaritan Center. The hired company, Lynch claimed was controlled by a relative, but was his personal company.

The Samaritan Center is a large community resource center that provides healthcare, employment services, and other forms of support to residents of Detroit’s east side. 

Lynch is said to have attempted to justify some of these payments with bogus invoices, according to prosecutors. 

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Holy Cross was established in 1948, and provides welfare services to disadvantaged children and adolescents, behavioral health services to adolescents and adults, and a number of support services to the homeless in Southeast and Mid-Michigan.

The complaint charges Lynch with wire fraud, mail fraud, embezzlement and stealing funds under the care, custody, and control of an organization receiving federal funds. Prosecutors will decide whether to seek a felony indictment once their investigation is complete.

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