The former executive director and comptroller of the Boston Center for Adult Education face arraignment tomorrow on a variety of fraud charges related to money they allegedly siphoned out of the adult-learning non-profit, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Susan B. Brown, 66, of Marblehead, ousted as executive director last fall after center officials grew suspicious - to the point of suing her - and Mark Mitchell, former comptroller, who was also ousted and sued, were indicted on a total of 25 counts by a Suffolk County grand jury earlier this month, the DA's office says. Brown's partner, Karen Kalfian, was also indicted, on a single charge.
The grand jury charged Mitchell, 49 and a Saugus selectman, with, among other things, making false entries in corporate books, publishing of false or exaggerated statements, forgery, uttering, and four counts of larceny by scheme.
Mitchell was also charged with misuse of campaign funds, uttering and larceny by scheme for money related to his selectman's campaign. Although Saugus is not in Suffolk County, he allegedly make withdrawals from his campaign fund in Boston, giving Suffolk County prosecutors the ability to go after him here.
Kalfian, 62, of Marblehead, faces a single charge of receiving stolen property by scheme.
According to the DA's office;
Brown, who served as the nonprofit’s Executive Director from 2009 until September, 2018, allegedly authorized a series of checks to Kalfian totaling $565,586 between 2011 and last year. Those checks were purportedly payments for marketing services. Kalfian briefly worked for the nonprofit in 2005 but did not perform any marketing services for the organization in the years since, prosecutors allege.
Mitchell joined the organization as comptroller in 2011, and his alleged thefts from the nonprofit began that same year. Between September 2011 and September 2018, the defendant allegedly issued unauthorized checks to himself and to a BCAE instructor, whose signature the defendant forged in order to deposit the checks into his own account. He allegedly embezzled upwards of $970,000 through this scheme. The defendant is also accused of making payments from the nonprofit to an elite youth baseball league he owned and operated. In addition, Mitchel lallegedly used his employer’s account to make unauthorized payments for personal expenses and those of the youth team. These expenses totaled $242,749 and included the cost of the defendant’s participation in golf tournaments and sending youth baseball players to out-of-state baseball camps.
In their attempts to cover up the thefts, Mitchell and Brown allegedly falsified the nonprofit’s records. The defendants are also accused of producing false reports to be filed with the IRS in an effort to renew the nonprofit’s tax exempt status that they had allowed to lapse. They subsequently presented the organization’s Board of Directors with a forged letter purportedly from the IRS stating that the nonprofit’s status had been reinstated, prosecutors said.