Accountant for Edmonton non-profit charged with embezzling $209,000

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Edmonton police offer suggestions to prevent employee fraud, including enhanced computer security and measures like multiple signing authorities and regular informal audits. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)
Edmonton police offer suggestions to prevent employee fraud, including enhanced computer security and measures like multiple signing authorities and regular informal audits. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)

An Edmonton woman has been charged with embezzling more than $200,000 from her employer, a non-profit organization that helps foster and kinship families.

The woman worked as an accountant for the Alberta Foster and Kinship Association (AFKA) — formerly the Alberta Foster Parent Association, Edmonton police said in a news release Tuesday.

The agency first reported its concerns in October 2020 about money going missing, police said.

Brenda Rabie, 43, was charged on Oct. 7 with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

The fraud was discovered when Rabie didn't show up for work on the day an audit was taking place, police said.

"When a financial audit was taking place at AFKA, the employee ... did not come in for her shift; this led to the organization discovering the fraudulent activity."

The fraud took place over about 10 months, starting in November 2019, police said.

In total, $209,000 was transferred into multiple personal accounts owned by the employee.

"AFKA has been fully co-operative throughout this investigation, and we truly feel for them, as that's the last thing you ever want to discover about an employee," Const. Shawn Joseph said in the release.

"We suggest organizations segregate their accounting functions and use a system of checks and balances to ensure no one person has control over multiple significant parts of a financial transaction."

Some precautions suggested by police include enhanced computer security, restricting access to computer terminals and records, and procedural measures like multiple signing authorities, purchase orders and regular informal audits.

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