Monday, November 25, 2013

Cash Missing, Coverup At Democratic Think Tank...

WaPo reports:

hree years ago, the Progressive Policy Institute realized that a senior manager had quietly used unauthorized checks, credit-card charges and cash withdrawals to drain about $100,000 from the Democratic think tank’s accounts, pushing the nonprofit group to the edge of insolvency, interviews and documents show.

Officials at the institute didn’t call police and didn’t alert donors, said Lindsay Mark Lewis, now executive director of the Washington-based organization. Instead, they took what charity governance specialists call a distressingly common approach for a nonprofit group: They agreed to forgo legal action in exchange for restitution.

“We had an agreement that as long as the payments were made, that we would not pursue anything else,” Lewis said.

The institute declined to publicly identify the manager. Elizabeth Kennedy, who was executive director in 2010, left about the time of the discovery, and the institute’s financial records state that she has since “repaid” tens of thousands of dollars to the institute. She declined to discuss the institute’s loss and, asked whether she had embezzled the money, said, “No comment.”[...]

The Progressive Policy Institute, founded in 1989 and incorporated as the Third Way Foundation, describes itself as “an independent, innovative and high-impact D.C.-based think tank” and as “the original ‘idea mill’ for President Bill Clinton’s New Democrats.”

(via the Drudge Report)


  1. My guess is that even the progressives realize that the criminal justice system takes the lion's share for itself and leaves the remaining scraps for the victim.

    1. Yep, my thoughts exactly. It's almost always beneficial for parties to work stuff out like this on their own.

      If they go through the court system as it is today, they will certainly get fleeced with the plaintiff especially getting hammered in trying to get a judgement.

      In my mind, the think tank did the right thing from a purely business standpoint.

      I had a former business partner damaging a mutually owned company and the process of adjudicating it was going to take 3 more years beyond the 2 years I had attorney's making his life miserable and it was going to cost $50k more beyond the $10k is cost to get it to the point of a trial.

      Even if I received a judgement(no guarantee) the reward was probably only going to be between $60K and $180k; and the company was slipping down the drain and might not have even been around by that time.

      My business associates(and friends) were stunned when I settled by paying HIM and forcing him to leave the company.

      7 years later, it was a good business decision(though very hard to do emotionally) and I was able to salvage the company and even got him back later over a minor court matter that popped up later that I knew he would have been in the same predicament in, reversed.

      Anyway, the court/justice system is a total joke & very costly. In business you are almost always better off finding almost any other alternative by my experience. Also, you can sadly forget ADR resolutions written into corporate charters too.

      Attorney's on both sides hate them and almost always work together to keep it all "in the family".

      One attorney friend I have talked about that fact with me one day when we were BSing and I asked him, "Why is is ADR/arbitration is so hard to get anyone to do, even under signed contracts?"

      His answer: "Attorney's hate it for few reasons, #1 there's no money in it, #2 No one "wins", it's like kissing your sister(his exact words) and it's predictable when it happens, they split the baby."

    2. Bull!. They are like any other non profit that does not want to piss off donors by telling them that their hard earned money has been stolen. This is nothing new and very common with nonprofits which often times tend to have very poor internal controls. The act of concealment is a form of fraud and deception and little else.

  2. A friend discovered his business partner of 25 years had embezzled $60,000 from their business. Advised by his attorney and accountants that his chances of recovering the money were slim to none if he had her arrested, he chose instead to ensure restitution and did not pursue charges against her. He did recover the money.

  3. That's a better use of that money than paying a bunch of economic and political nincompoops to come up with more evil government schemes to foist on the populace.