September 2, 2022

Former WFYI employee charged with embezzling more than $270,000, no financial impact to nonprofit

WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis. - Eric Weddle/WFYI

WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis.

Eric Weddle/WFYI

A former employee has been charged with embezzling more than $270,000 from Indianapolis-based WFYI Public Media, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

Mindi B. Madison, who was employed as an accounting specialist starting in 2018, has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Court documents allege she embezzled approximately $270,876, which she used to buy groceries and pay rent and utilities, among other expenses.

There was no financial impact to WFYI, according to the organization. The nonprofit said in a statement that it’s covered by business insurance. 

“WFYI is grateful for the diligence and hard work of the investigators and legal team involved in this case,” according to a statement from WFYI. “The support WFYI receives from members, sponsors, donors and funders remains safe, and we are committed to being good stewards of all our sources of support.”

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Madison had access to WFYI’s accounting software and was responsible for presenting “legitimate expenses, claims, invoices, and supporting documentation along with the unsigned WFYI checks to employees at WFYI who had signature authority for their approval and signature.”

“Madison abused her position of trust, and presented at least 156 fake claims and invoices for payment,” the press release states.

From 2018 to 2020, Madison worked with an unnamed co-conspirator, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who she issued checks to based on falsified invoices. The co-conspirator then deposited the checks into their bank account and split the proceeds with Madison.

The co-conspirator was not a WFYI employee nor vendor, according to the press release.

Madison will appear in federal court Sept. 15. She faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.

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