Third Employee Accused of Misusing Money at Aid for Friends

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Updated: 1/13/2014 9:23 am
After two employees were convicted of embezzlement at a local charity, another is now being investigated for using funds for personal use.

According to court documents, on October 2nd, 2013, Mindi Etcheverry withdrew $2,400 from an Aid for Friend's account for personal use.

Just over a month later, Etcheverry resigned from her job as Representative Payee Manager at the shelter.

The next day, Wells Fargo notified Executive Director BJ Stensland of the transaction.  That's when Stensland consulted Etcheverry's roommate, and Aid for Friends Office Manager Kristal Squire, about the theft. Squire reached out to Etcheverry who did not respond immediately. Etcheverry would later confess to Squire about taking the money, saying she was overwhelmed with medical bills and, with a new baby on the way, did not see another way to take care of the child.

Less than a month after admitting to taking the money, court documents show Etcheverry dropped off a cashier's check for $2,100 to Aid for Friends with a note saying she would pay back the remaining $300 after getting her tax return.

The Board of Directors met to discuss how to handle the incident. Chairman Scott Heide notified police on December 11th that the board had unanimously decided to pursue legal action. Heidi said the board would be willing to pursue lesser charges if Etcheverry would fess up.

Six days later, Etcheverry met with officers with the Pocatello Police Department and admitted to taking the cash.  Detectives agreed to go along with the Board's recommendation and cited her with misdemeanor petit theft.

KPVI reached out to Aid for Friends for comment regarding Etcheverry. Executive Director BJ Stensland is out of the office but Chairman Heide says the non-profit is taking this matter extremely seriously and an internal investigation regarding this incident is still ongoing. They've brought in additional personnel to perform an internal audit to see if anything else is amiss. Heidi says all parties, including Etcheverry, are cooperating with law enforcement and Aid for Friends would like to give the legal system a chance to do its job. Heidi concluded saying, while this issue is not fully resolved, he's happy with how the organization has handled this case and says it speaks positively of the non-profit.

Etcheverry has pleaded not guilty to the charges and a pretrial conference is scheduled for January 30th.
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Friend - 1/22/2014 12:05 PM
0 Votes
Actually, there is a lot being done. Many changes have happened specifically so this won't happen again, especially in the hiring process. It's not what is happening at the top that is the problem, it is people who actively seek out this type of employment for the sole purpose of stealing from our communities most vulnerable people. They get your trust and seem to be amazing workers all under a guise to steal and embezzle. It sickens me that someone could steal from these elderly people or these disabled veterans, or whom ever they may be, it is sickening.

piper - 1/11/2014 6:44 PM
1 Vote
If people are continually able to steal money from Aid for Friends, maybe changes need to be made at the top. Checks and balances can and should be put in place to prevent these thefts. Why doesn't someone care enough to find out what's going on?
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