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Cape police investigating possible fraud report filed by Kiwanis Club

By Staff | Oct 13, 2012

The Cape Coral Police Department has confirmed it is investigating a report of alleged fraud filed by a local not-for-profit organization.

On July 18, a member reported a possible fraud that occurred at the Kiwanis Club Thrift Store, at 708 S.E. 47th Terrace, according to a report. Information was limited, but she said there was a theft from the store.

“That was the beginning of our involvement,” Police Chief Jay Murphy said Friday. “We’ve been waiting on the Kiwanis to do an internal audit.”

Once completed, investigators will look over the audit with the group.

“Then we’ll decide if there’s criminal charges,” he said. “Until we see an audit, all I can tell you is we have an active investigation.”

Susan Rolfe, president of the Cape Coral Kiwanis Foundation, confirmed Friday that an audit is being conducted. She declined to say if it is finished.

“There is an audit, and I will be putting out a statement,” Rolfe said.

She explained that prior to issuing a statement, she intends to meet with the Kiwanis board. A meeting date had not been set as of Friday.

“This came up some time ago,” Rolfe said, declining to provide specifics.

“I can’t tell you anything right now,” she added.

According to Rolfe, the Kiwanis are supposed to do audits every year. Asked about when the last audit was done, she said it was a couple of years ago.

“We should have done one every year,” Rolfe said.

“A lot of clubs don’t do one every single year,” she added.

The organization is concerned about losing public trust while the matter is being addressed.

“We’re really good people,” Rolfe said. “We do really good things.”

According to one long-time Kiwanis member, who asked that his name not be used, the report of alleged fraud is connected to unaccounted for money.

“We’re looking at money missing,” he said. “It’s a good chunk.”

He reported that the alleged fraud is believed to have occurred over a period of time. He explained that in July, six members decided to go to the police.

“We found something – I can’t tell any specifics,” he said.

Murphy also would not get into specifics Friday about the police report, which was filed at the CCPD as an information fraud report, nor the allegations.

“There are no details at this time,” he said. “It’s probably some fraudulent activity. It’s on its face – it’s pretty much what it is.”

The Kiwanis member described the internal audit as a “forensic” one.

“As far as I know, the audit has been completed,” he said, adding that he believed that it had been completed a couple of weeks ago.