For Immediate Release - July 08, 2011

Former Executive Director of Non-Profit Arraigned for Embezzling More Than $126,000 From Organization

BOSTON - The former director of a Boston non-profit organization has been arraigned in connection with allegedly stealing more than $126,000 from the organization for her own benefit, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

Valerie Tebbetts, age 54, formerly of Dorchester, was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of Larceny by Embezzlement over $250 (3 counts), and False Entries in Corporate Books.

In November 2010, the AG's Office began an investigation after Tebbetts's activities were initially referred and investigated by the organization. From approximately September 2008 to November 2010, Tebbetts served as the executive director of the local non-profit which serves the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS.

In November 2010, the organization's board members learned that Tebbetts allegedly made numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals from the non-profit's savings account during her tenure as executive director. Tebbetts was immediately terminated by the organization, and the matter was then referred to the AG's Office for prosecution. Investigators discovered that in addition, Tebbetts allegedly stole thousands of dollars from the organization by producing checks from the organization's account, made payable to her landlord for her personal rent and made payable to herself for her personal use. Authorities allege that in order to hide her activities from the organization Tebbetts made numerous false entries in its accounting program to conceal the thefts. Investigators discovered that Tebbetts stole over $126,000 by using this fraudulent scheme.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Tebbetts on June 16, 2011. Today, she was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court where she pled not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. She is due back in court on August 9, 2001, for a pre-trial conference.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jill Ambrose of AG Coakley's Fraud and Financial Crimes Division and was investigated by Investigator Kevin Cwirka of AG Coakley's Financial Investigations Division. Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG's Office also assisted in the investigation.