The former director of a non-profit group is accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the organization.
Andrea Hammond, 41, was arrested after investigators say she embezzled over $73,000 dollars from Family Crisis Services, a non-profit domestic violence center in Canon City.
“My initial reaction was shock,” said Tara Kane, current interim director of Family Crisis Services.
According to arrest documents obtained by 11 News, Hammond gave herself numerous pay raises, opened three credit cards under the non-profit's name and racked up expenses on things like clothes, food and private vacations. Receipts also show Hammond gambled away nearly $30,000 dollars at casinos. 11 News asked the non-profit how this went unnoticed for nearly two years.
“She was able to slip a lot of this past the board of directors and I’m not sure how that happened,” Kane said.
Kane wasn't working at the time of Hammond's employment but says when the board president noticed that things weren't adding up, the president questioned Hammond, who then resigned and moved away.
“One person can do a lot of damage. But I want people to remember that it’s not a reflection on Family Crisis Services, it’s a reflection on that one person’s choices,” Kane said.
After Hammond’s resignation, investigators launched a year-long investigation into the financial transactions. Fremont County then issued a warrant for her arrest. Hammond was taken into custody Wednesday in Casper, Wyoming and is being held on a $250,000 dollar bond.
Since the incident, the Family Crisis Services center has hired a new accountant and a new board of directors.