Louisiana auditor alleges ed nonprofit misused $307K in state grants
- Open World Family Services Inc., a defunct eastern New Orleans nonprofit, was found by the Louisiana legislative auditor to have mishandled over $307,500 in state grants, according to a new report.
- Former executive director Kim Cassell is alleged to have received reimbursement for spending that didn't happen, paid her brother and daughter $18,414 from a corporate account, and used the organization's credit card for personal expenses ranging from pet supplies to travel both in and out of the country.
- Open World Family Services operated for almost 10 years before shuttering in May 2012, and $1.6 million in federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Center grants through the state's Department of Education are said to have covered its operating costs during its final three years.
The nonprofit was aimed at providing education and training to families to help them become self-sufficient. Ultimately, the organization fell victim to poor management, as Open World's attorney insists that Cassell had no intentions of deliberately stealing the funds but didn't have the adequate background to run the finances of a nonprofit. Her actions, however, may still be in violation of state and federal laws.
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