Former employee accused of embezzling from Fairbanks Youth Advocates
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -A former employee of non-profit Fairbanks Youth Advocates has been charged and arrested for allegedly embezzling funds.
According to Brian Taylor, Executive Director of Fairbanks Youth Advocates, the embezzlement is believed to have begun in August of 2020.
“There was an Executive Director who worked here during the period of August of 2020, until April of 2021,” Taylor explained. “It was during that period of time that evidently an embezzlement scheme was unfurled. The board began to get some whispers and to see some hints of it in April. Forensic accountants were brought in and the worst fears were confirmed, and the matter was turned over to the Fairbanks Police Department. The whole process has been working its way through the legal system until last week [when] there was actually an arrest made and the charge of embezzlement occurred against a former employee.”
Alnise Wyles, former Executive Director for Fairbanks Youth Advocates, was arrested by the Fairbanks Police Department on Monday, December 6th for allegedly embezzling over $90,000 from the organization.
Taylor elaborated, “Unfortunately, this embezzlement occurred during the COVID period when a lot of people [and] organizations were working from home, and they were not in the office - and hence, documents were taken out of the office inappropriately and handled in a way that never should have occurred.”
With the discovery of the misappropriation of funds, Fairbanks Youth Advocates enacted a restructuring of leadership in the organization according to Taylor.
“We’re very fortunate,” he explained. “After the embezzlement occurred, we had a couple of very godly leaders come in from the outside and really right the Fairbanks Youth Advocates’/The Door’s ship, and really help us transition until an entirely new leadership team could be hired and piloted the rest of the way through. It has taken this length of time for the police department to review all the facts, do their own research, get their own individuals involved enough to speed, and as soon as that occurred my understanding is that the arrest occurred and the charges as well.”
The theft of these funds has impacted not just the organization and those it serves, but donors and community members as well.
“The embezzlement impacts us in a couple of different ways.” Taylor explained. “One, the donors are impacted - and that’s heartbreaking. The money that was graciously given was misappropriated and spent on frivolous activities instead of going to the needy youth in our community. Secondly, it has impacted some of the long term goals we had for the organization.
Taylor continued, “We are very blessed, and I want to make this clear that the community’s generosity has continued, and we’re ok. We’re going to do everything we can possibly do to get back every one of those donor dollars, everything that is legally appropriate, and that is one of things that we are going to seek.”
Fairbanks Youth Advocates in committed to stride forward and seeks to be even more open and transparent with the community according to Taylor.
“First of all, it breaks our heart”, he said. “It’s heartbreaking that this has occurred in our community. The Door has been an organization that has been upstanding and very transparent in all of its actions and activities throughout the years. From the time it was working in the shelter of the basement of the Presbyterian Church, until the new building at 138 10th Avenue was put up and our young people could be housed there. We are committed to an increased level of transparency. I myself am available to meet with people, to meet with donors, to meet with community organizations, community personnel, and to assuage any fears they may have.”
(Corrections have been made to this article. Wyler has been corrected to Wyles. Wyles’ former title has been corrected from Co-Executive Director to Executive Director.)
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