Woman in Darien accused of stealing $830,000 from veterans fund - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Woman in Darien accused of stealing $830,000 from veterans fund

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Cynthia Tanner was accused of embezzling $830,000 from a veterans fund. (Darien police photo) Cynthia Tanner was accused of embezzling $830,000 from a veterans fund. (Darien police photo)

The Darien woman who was arrested for allegedly embezzling money from a national fund that helps veterans and their families is being held on a $500,000 bond after appearing in court on Monday.

Police said Cynthia Tanner stole more than $830,000 from the National Veteran Services Fund's checking account over a five-year period.

The president of the organization told investigators that irregularities in the company's financial statements were noticed by an accounting firm.

"This situation came to light during our internal auditing, and some questionable entries came up," said Phil Kraft, executive director of the NVSF.

Police said Tanner had been an employee of the NVSF, which is based in Darien, since 2008. Her responsibilities included payroll and the disbursement of funds to the charity's clients.

"We immediately began a detailed review with our (certified public accountants), contacted an attorney, and then promptly set up a meeting with the Darien Police Department and gave them all of the information and records that they requested," Kraft said.

Investigators discovered that not only had she been writing unauthorized checks to herself, but that she was writing checks to relatives as well. They said she wrote 135 checks for more than $185,000 to herself and family members.

Tanner was also found to be making electronic payments for loans as well as using company credit cards for things like airfare, vacations and Internet purchases, officials said.

Police said a warrant was secured for the checks she wrote in 2013. Further arrest warrants were expected.

She turned herself in to the Darien Police Department on Monday.

Tanner was charged with first-degree larceny, which is a class B felony in Connecticut.

Kraft said that because the case was in the hands of the authorities, the NVSF had no further comment. He did say that the organization was very happy with the prompt action of the police department.

He also said the NVSF was still providing services.

"Donors should know that the charity is still in operation and that it is safe to donate," Kraft said.

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