An internal investigation that began in March 2017 revealed that Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (CCSPM) was the victim of a criminal scheme to defraud housing rental assistance funds. The employment of Catholic Charities staff members suspected of being involved in the illegal activity was terminated, the individuals were reported to law enforcement, and the affected funding partners were notified.
Findings from Catholic Charities’ initial review were immediately brought to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. Catholic Charities has cooperated fully with the U.S. Attorney and governmental agencies investigating the individuals involved and will continue to do so as the investigation proceeds.
In conjunction with its ongoing investigation, charges were filed against alleged perpetrators. The fraud involves funds provided through two counties for housing assistance programs operated by CCSPM. The two counties are conducting internal audits with the cooperation of CCSPM to determine the extent of the loss. The total amount involved is expected to be less than $750,000, and the findings to date support this estimate. CCSPM is working with its insurer to cover the losses.
Catholic Charities was the victim of criminal acts of fraud and deception. The organization discovered the acts, took action and is cooperating with law enforcement in the ongoing legal proceedings. CCSPM regularly reviews its internal policies and procedures to prevent fraud and abuse and has done so in response to this incident to protect the integrity of its programs.
Throughout the investigation, Catholic Charities has maintained these housing rental assistance programs and continues to ensure that men and women in need receive critical services and support.