An employee at an Ohio nonprofit allegedly stole nearly $400,000. Most of the money she is suspected of stealing was gambled away.
Reports from the Toledo Police Department reveal that Sabina Serratos, now the former executive director of the nonprofit Adelante Inc., had been embezzling from January 2019 to April 2022. Chairman of Adelante, Daniel Briones, asserts that in January 2019, Serratos took out a loan from Key Bank for $49,000 in the name of Andelante. She did so without permission.
Briones also claims the suspect spent $10,636 in Las Vegas on a company card. She allegedly spent the money on food and gambling.
Additional charges await Serratos for going to Firekeepers Casino in Michigan and blowing $10,656. Serratos reportedly spent another $3000 at other venues in Michigan, including the MGM Grand in Detroit.
Auditors estimate Serratos squandered nearly $340,000 of Adelante’s money at one Toledo casino. The suspect spent the money taken from the organization in Toledo, Las Vegas and Michigan, authorities said.
Police filed a report on April 29 in accordance with insurance requirements.
Resource center in Toledo aids Latinos
Founded in 1991, Adelante is a Latino resource center located in downtown Toledo. It provides a range of services for substance abuse, in particular to pregnant mothers. Among its initiatives are combating food insecurities, language barriers and unemployment.
Each year, Adalante receives more than $170,000 from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County.
News of the theft caused the board to discontinue all funding. Executive Director Scott Sylak said:
“They’ll come back to us with a plan for how they plan to overcome the financial improprieties that they’ve had and give us some assurances that these fiscal improprieties will never happen again.”
Employee admitted to misusing funds
What tipped off the probe, according to Adalente, was Serratos’s own confession.
During a board meeting, she supposedly admitted to using the company’s funds as her personal piggy bank. The board fired Serratos soon after.
Police have not filed criminal charges. The nonprofit has been forced to close its doors due to the alleged embezzlement.