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News Former CEO Charged with Stealing $1.5 Million from Shelter Provider

9/27/2021
  • Office of the Inspector General

Media Contact for Former CEO Charged with Stealing $1.5 Million from Shelter Provider

Jack Meyers

 A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Manual Duran, the former chief executive officer of a non-profit, for allegedly embezzling nearly $1.5 million from the organization, which operates shelters for families experiencing homelessness. Duran’s indictment began with an anonymous tip to our hotline, which led to a joint investigation by our Office and the Attorney General’s Office.

The grand jury indicted Duran on three counts of larceny over $1,200 by scheme, four counts of perjury and two counts of false entries in corporate books. The indictment alleges that from 2012 through May 2021, Duran stole nearly $1.5 million from Casa Nueva Vida, Inc. (CNV), a non-profit shelter provider for which he served as its longtime chief executive officer. CNV receives almost all of its funding through contracts with the Commonwealth to provide emergency housing assistance to families in Boston and Lawrence who are experiencing homelessness. 

The indictment alleges that in one scheme, Duran set up a shell corporation to lease a shelter in Lawrence. Duran then allegedly sublet the shelter to CNV at an inflated rent, skimming off the excess rent payments for himself. The indictment alleges that, using this scheme, Duran diverted more than $1.1 million in CNV funds to himself between 2014 and 2021.

In another scheme, at various times between 2012 and 2020, Duran allegedly created fake invoices and wrote large checks from CNV to three vendors, purportedly for renovations, lead abatement and asbestos abatement at properties that CNV owned or leased. The joint investigation revealed, however, that the vendors allegedly never performed the work.  Instead, the indictment alleges that Duran drove each individual vendor to the bank, where they cashed the check and then gave the cash to Duran. Using this scheme, Mr. Duran allegedly stole more than $242,000.

The indictment further alleges that between 2014 and 2019, Duran stole approximately $140,831 from CNV by depositing directly into his own business bank account paychecks issued to a seasonal maintenance employee for CNV who was in Puerto Rico when the paychecks were issued. 

The matter began with an anonymous tip to the Office, which initiated an investigation. The criminal charges are a result of a joint investigation conducted by the AG’s Office and the Office, with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office.

The criminal matter is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Mindy Klenoff and Chief Trial Counsel James O’Brien, both of AG Healey’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division, and Victim Witness Advocate Lia Panetta, with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, and Senior Investigators Jack Meyers and Will Bradford from our Office.

The charges are allegations, and Duran is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

For additional information about the indictment, see the Attorney General’s press release at: Former Head of Homeless Shelter Indicted for Stealing Nearly $1.5 Million From the Non-Profit Organization

Media Contact for Former CEO Charged with Stealing $1.5 Million from Shelter Provider

Office of the Inspector General 

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is an independent agency that prevents and detects fraud, waste and abuse of public funds and public property and promotes transparency in government.
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