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Former shelter manager accused of misappropriating funds

On May 19, the former manager of a California no-kill shelter was taken into custody after she was accused of embezzling funds. Board members of the Kings SPCA in Hanford said that the shelter shut down on May 11 as a result of a lack of funds.

The investigation began on April 28 when deputies opened an embezzlement investigation at the shelter. Board members reportedly told them that the manager of the SPCA had been suspected of making purchases that were not authorized over the previous three years. Receipts showed that the total worth of unauthorized purchases came out to about $3,740. After the unauthorized purchases were discovered, board members said that they fired the manager. She was taken into custody on May 19 at her home. Deputies said that the former manager admitted that she had made some unauthorized purchases with the shelter's debit card. Her bail was set at $20,000.

According to the Kings SPCA's president of the board of directors, the shelter had been losing money since it was forced to move locations in 2013. The 10-acre property reported cost $17,000 a month to operate.

When a person is suspected of misappropriating funds or using business funds for personal use, he or she could be charged with embezzlement. Depending on how much was allegedly stolen, a person could face legal consequences that include a jail sentence, fines and the requirement to repay the funds. However, an attorney could defend a person against embezzlement charges if there is evidence that funds were used appropriately or if the funds were used for business or work-related expenses as allowed by the company.

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