DARIEN, Conn. -- The bookkeeper of a Darien-based nonprofit that helps veterans was charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization, according to police.
Cynthia Tanner, 52, of Darien was charged with first-degree larceny, police said. She turned herself in to police Monday and was held on $250,000 bond. She was arraigned in court Monday.
Police received a complaint in late May from the president of the National Veteran Services Fund, who said an accounting firm had discovered irregularities in the organization's financial statements. It was determined that Tanner, the organization's bookkeeper, had been using funds for her own personal use over the past five years, police said.
The National Veteran Services Fund is a nonprofit that provides services to veterans and their families, including purchasing wheelchairs and scooters, paying utility bills and helping them navigate the VA system.
Tanner had been employed by the NVSF since 2008 and was responsible for payroll and distribution of funds to the nonprofit's clients. An investigation determined that she had written unauthorized checks to herself, as well as to family members, using NVSF funds, according to police. Over five years, she embezzled over $830,000 from the organization, police said.
In 2013 alone, Tanner wrote 135 unauthorized checks totaling $185,000 to herself and family members, police said. Tanner fabricated the financial ledger to say that these checks were written to veterans and other clients of the NVSF, according to police reports. Tanner also made electronic payments for her auto loans and used company credit cards for personal expenses such as airfare, vacations and Internet purchases, police said.
After an investigation determined that Tanner wrote the unauthorized checks, a warrant was issued for her arrest solely for the checks she wrote in 2013, police said. She turned herself in on Monday. Police said that further arrest warrants are anticipated.