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Former Make-A-Wish Iowa CEO charged with embezzling



The board chairman for Make-A-Want Iowa, mentioned the group swiftly dismissed Jennifer Woodley and notified police after discovering the issues final July.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The previous CEO of Make-A-Want Iowa has been arrested on three felony costs alleging she embezzled tens of 1000’s of {dollars} from the charity that helps sick kids, the group confirmed Friday.

Jennifer Woodley, 40, was booked on the Polk County Jail in Des Moines on Thursday on two counts of first-degree theft and the unauthorized use of a bank card. She was launched on bond. 

Months after changing into its chief, Woodley secretly awarded herself a $10,000 bonus in October 2019 that had not been permitted by the board, based on felony complaints unsealed Friday.

The bonus, which Woodley added to a listing of legit bonuses earned by different workers, value the group $15,540 in all, police mentioned.

Woodley additionally made 84 unauthorized purchases on a company bank card that had been for her private use, totaling greater than $23,000 over a 10-month span, the complaints state. Woodley allegedly didn’t reimburse the group for these bills.

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The group introduced final summer season that it had found monetary irregularities throughout a compliance evaluate and that Woodley had been dismissed after serving as president and CEO for simply over one 12 months.

Based mostly within the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, the Iowa group is one among 60 chapters of Make-A-Want America, which works to supply assist and memorable experiences for youngsters with important diseases and their households.

Dave Farnsworth, the board chairman for Make-A-Want Iowa, mentioned the group swiftly dismissed Woodley and notified police after discovering the issues final July. He mentioned the group was “deeply saddened and disenchanted by the occasions” that led to costs in opposition to Woodley.

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“We thank the Urbandale Police Division for its investigation into this breach of Make-A-Want’s moral requirements and insurance policies, and we’ll proceed to cooperate with legislation enforcement,” he mentioned. “We all know that we’ve got an obligation to safeguard each greenback given to us.”

No legal professional was listed for Woodley in on-line courtroom information. Every cost she faces is a category C felony that carries as much as 10 years in jail.

Make-A-Want Iowa has an annual finances of $Four million, a workers of 16 workers and is ruled by a 17-member volunteer board.

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Throughout Woodley’s tenure, the 35-year-old chapter granted its 4,000th want for a kid and mentioned it deliberate to grant about 170 needs for youngsters per 12 months.

Jail information checklist Woodley’s new handle as Winston Salem, North Carolina, the place her husband, Matt Woodley, is an assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest.

The couple has had two daughters who’ve required mind surgical procedure, and one among them obtained a visit to Walt Disney World by way of Make-A-Want Iowa earlier than Woodley was employed as CEO.



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