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Red Cross worker charged with theft, others call for stricter background screenings

Mar 04, 2011 Matt Roesly

Those in the nonprofit healthcare field are trusted with taking care of some of the most vulnerable members of society. But after a woman in Massachusetts hired by the Red Cross was charged with stealing more than $250,000, the question of whether strict enough background checks are being performed has come up. According to Suffolk County prosecutors, Deborah Leggio, the former financial director of the Suffolk Chapter, used the money for her own expenses. "While I fully understand why the Red Cross is saying nothing about their background check process, I have to guess they don’t run a check on new hires," wrote Grant Parpan in an article for the North Shore Sun. "And while that’s not uncommon for a lot of businesses, most businesses aren’t non-profits who rely on people to donate their hard-earned money for support." There have been other cases of people in high positions misappropriating funds. The Daily Camera reports that police in Boulder, Colorado, arrested Diana Lewis for writing $150,000 in unauthorized checks from the educational charity for which she worked.