Former McLean County, Illinois Woman Charged With Stealing From Children’s Charity
A 60-year-old woman named Carol Babbitt has been arrested and accused of stealing $400,000 from a children’s charity, Project Linus.
What Is Project Linus?
Project Linus is a non-profit organization that provides blankets to children in need. Those seeking to make a donation can do so in the form of new blankets, batting, thread, and fabric. Visit the Project Linus website to find a local chapter. To learn more about the types of blankets they need or the supplies they need, contact your local chapter.
Former National President Of Project Linus Arrested For Stealing From Charity
According to prosecutors in Illinois, Babbitt, who served as the National President of Project Linus stole nearly half a million dollars from the children’s charity.
Babbitt began to work with Project Linus in 1998 as a chapter coordinator. By 2000, she was made the national President and served until 2016. It was in 2016 that someone on the board of directors began to suspect that Babbitt had mishandled funds. The board confronted Babbitt and she resigned from her position. The board, however, was not content with her resignation and reported the funding discrepancies to law enforcement.
While law enforcement, including the Internal Revenue Services, Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Illinois Department of Revenue, and the Bloomington Police Department performed an investigation, Babbitt tried to leave the past behind and moved from Illinois to Asheville, North Carolina. It was in North Carolina that she was finally arrested.
According to the indictment, Babbitt began to take money from Project Linus in 2010. She was able to do this because as the charity’s President, she had control of the bank accounts and credit cards. She used the company credit cards to pay for personal expenses, including clothing, electronics, pet grooming, furniture, tickets for sporting events and even personal travel. She would then use funds from the organization’s bank accounts to pay the credit card bills, falsely classifying her spending as business expenses.
Babbitt also made false statements about the financial condition of the charity and told board members she was taking pay cuts to pay for expenses.
The IRS also has stated that she filed false and fraudulent personal tax returns with the state of Illinois in which she failed to report the funds she allegedly stole from Project Linus – a total of $400,000 over six years.
This is just another individual who has recently been charged with stealing from a charity. In recent months, Trump has been found guilty and fined $2 million for misusing charity funds and the former mayor of a FL town has been sentenced to prison.
Hopefully, as law enforcement continues to crack down, charities will be kept safe from those looking to take funds meant for those in need.