Corporate fraud comes in all shapes, colors and sizes including white collar crime, wire fraud, tax fraud, accounting fraud, Medicare fraud, bank fraud, internet fraud and insurance fraud among others. But, this next case wins the Lynch & Robbins Fraud Du Juor Award in this the First Edition of the Lynch & Robbins “Fraud Alert Journal”.
An interesting case of sexual harassment, business fraud, and office porn was filed recently in our Local Florida state court system. A Tampa Bay Area, non-profit organization is facing a sexual harassment case that was filed by a former employee. The Florida based non-profit group has been organized for over twenty years, spending millions of dollars and hundreds of man hours every year on programs that benefiting and serving disabled and senior citizens.
For more than 5 years, the plaintiff alleges that she was subjected continually to “discriminatory and harassing comments, actions, and innuendos by the executive managers” of the not-for-profit group; potentially violating numerous sections of Florida’s employee labor laws, Title VII, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Additionally, the plaintiff-terminated employee alleges that one of the non-profit organisation’s managers viewed pornographic pictures and pornographic movies on a business computer, during work hours, in front of more than one female employee; subjecting the group of women to sexual harassment in the workplace. The former employee allegedly began working for the non-profit as a specialist 5 years ago, then becoming a director. The former employee was terminated due to an alleged misuse of a business credit card.
ALLEGED BUSINESS FRAUD IN FLORIDA
The plaintiff-fired employee is also alleging business fraud in that she was told to falsify records for a local non-profit organization to help secure a federal grant valued at $30,000 per month payouts. Through the federal Whistleblower law, the plaintiff-fired employee alleges the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the non-profit organization specifically asked her to create falsified records for an application for a federal grant, alleging that it was filed for the benefit of the non-profit organization to serve disabled and senior citizens, thus making this a case of alleged white collar crim. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges in the lawsuit that she was asked to fabricate a list of senior citizens that were served by outreach programs. However, she refused, replying that she “did not feel comfortable” giving made-up names “because it was illegal.”
However, the Washington-based organization that issues such grants said the last grant application from the Tampa Bay Area non-profit group was in 2006, and it was not funded. The Florida Governor’s office, who handles grants issued for volunteerism and community service, said that two such grants were issued to the Tampa Bay Area non-profit group in 2005 and 2006 for over $100,000 for each year. The Governor’s office asserts that there were not any such grant applications from the Tampa Bay non-profit organization from the year 2008. In the plaintiff’s lawsuit however, that’s the year “2008,” that the alleged request to fabricate and falsify a list of senior citizens for the purposes of submitting and applying for such a grant occurred.