Yesterday, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office released potential charges in a case where Face to Face was the victim of alleged fraud. Because transparency is of upmost importance to us, we are sharing the series of events that led to this release of information.
In 2021, Face to Face’s internal safeguards led us to suspect an alleged rental assistance fraud with one of its programs. We conducted an internal investigation and then hired a forensic accounting and private investigation firm to investigate further. It was determined that there was evidence of fraudulent activities related to rent subsidies, gift cards, and credit cards. This information was turned over to the St. Paul Police Department for investigation.
During the internal investigation, we also learned that the program manager responsible had hired her associates to work at the organization. All staff connected to this fraudulent scheme were terminated in 2021. Face to Face followed all protocols in hiring the staff involved, including background checks and references.
Face to Face has been able to minimize the impact of this alleged criminal act on the young people we serve. The organization’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors immediately evaluated and implemented additional process improvements.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office reviewed the charges and evidence that was gathered. On December 5, 2023, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office released the potential charges. The police continue to lead the investigation and Face to Face is fully cooperating.
Face to Face reported the incident to stakeholders and funders whose funds were impacted by the fraud. The Office of Legislative Auditors confirmed all reporting and follow-up procedures were done appropriately. They also reviewed the financial controls in place and recent updates to those controls after the fraud. The auditors were satisfied with the process followed and financial controls in place.
Face to Face was reimbursed by its liability insurance company for the resources embezzled and funders were repaid.
The alleged fraud has not disrupted Face to Face’s rental assistance program. Rental assistance services have been provided through Face to Face to youth in need throughout the investigation and continues to be available.
Despite such a difficult experience for all involved, Face to Face has continued to grow and meet youth needs.
If you have any questions about this case, please contact Melissa Peterson, Director of Development and Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-772-5555.