TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two executives for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence face three felony charges each for stealing more than $3.7 million, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Authorities said 54-year-old CEO Tiffany Carr, of Port St. Joe, and 57-year-old CFO Patricia Duarte, of Tallahassee fraudulently awarded themselves personal time off using grants provided by the state to help fund domestic violence shelters across Florida.
The investigation revealed that Carr and Duarte submitted false quarterly reports, billed the state for vacant positions, and charged for services they never provided.
FDLE said the ill-gotten funds were used for excessive bonuses and leave payouts in the amounts of $3.4 million to Carr and $291,000 for Duarte.
The state previously took civil action to rid the organization’s “bad management,” but ultimately filed criminal charges against the former officials.
“These officials were entrusted to run an organization to assist those seeking a safe haven from abuse. Instead of ensuring state funds went to help those in need, they schemed together to steal more than $3.7 million for grossly inflated salaries and vacations,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said.
“Non-profit organizations exist to improve the lives of others, but during our investigation, it became clear the only thing these FCADV executives were serving were each other,” FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass said. Their selfishness and greed came at the expense of domestic violence victims who needed their organization the most.”
Duarte turned herself into Leon County Jail on Wednesday. An arrest warrant has been issued for Carr.