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Nassau Comptroller Finds ‘Questionable’ Charges at Non-Profit

Audit uncovers over $200,000 in suspicious charges at Mineola-based Family & Children’s Association.

An audit from the Nassau County Comptroller’s Office has uncovered approximately $200,000 in questionable charges at one of the county’s largest non-profits.

Over $200,000 in charges were found during an audit of Mineola-based Family & Children’s Association, which cited billing the county for hours not worked, keeping irregular timesheets, unsubstantiated credit card charges by employees and internal control issues such as not adhering to their own policies and excess vacation time.

The audit focused on five of the 50 contracts the non-profit has with Nassau County for the years 2009 and 2010, which ranged in amounts from about $850,000 to over $2.1 million.

“The numerous apparent FCA operating weaknesses, alleged overbilling to the County and failure to acknowledge any shortcomings are disturbing,” Comptroller George Maragos said in a statement. “The very defensive reaction by FCA to the audit findings may imply a culture of unaccountability to tax payers.”

According to the report, 23 Family & Children’s Association employees have credit cards, some without a spending limit and monthly balances by a single employee were as large as $46,895. Some employees allegedly used their cards to purchase iPods, cameras and go bowling according to the report.

The comptroller’s office stated they would be forwarding a copy of the audit to the district and county attorney’s offices in an effort to recover the moneys spent and also advised county agencies to consider utilizing services of other agencies.

In 2010, Family & Children’s Association received over $10.8 million for services to Nassau County through 50 different contracts.

Family & Children’s Association stated that while they “disagree with the majority of their findings and have communicated such,” they were willing to make changes recommended by the audit report.

“Our independent audit firm, Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP has consistently issued “no material weakness” letters in connection with their annual audit of our financial statements,” representatives from the non-profit said in a statement. “(We are) currently performing a risk assessment review to processes that can be improved and ensuring best practices are implemented based on a cost/benefit analysis.”

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