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Ohio charity spurned by lack of background screening

Jan 25, 2011 Matt Roesly

Had the Grove City Food Pantry and Emergency Fund installed background screening earlier, it may have prevented a defrauding that cost the charity more than $200,000, WBNS-TV reports. Volunteer Gayle Tatman was charged with stealing the six-figure sum during a seven-year stretch between 2002 and 2009. It was a prolonged scheme, but it took one only missing check for one board member to realize what was happening, the news station reports. Pantry board member Ron Miller told WBNS that a missing donation check around Thanksgiving made him aware of suspicious activity occurring among those who handle money. "Through the food pantry alone we serve more than 700 people a month," Miller said. "There was one check from a community Thanksgiving dinner that is always held and all the donations that are collected are given to the food pantry and that check didn't appear." Miller told WBNS that Tatman would erase the name of the check's provider and replace it with the name of one of her account holders, allowing her to use funds as she saw fit. Tatman was eventually caught after the organization created new rules that forced more than one person to handle checks. Now, anyone who handles money for the pantry must undergo background screening.