APD: Former AIDS group manager embezzled $100K
A former employee at a major non-profit group in the Alaska AIDS community has been accused of embezzling more than $100,000 of the group’s funds.
Court records show Paige Genise Langit Bohall, 37, charged with first-degree theft, scheme to defraud and falsifying business records during her time at the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association, also known as Four A’s. According to its website, the statewide organization provides a range of services to AIDS patients ranging from health care to housing, and also manages a needle exchange program.
Heather Davis and Kyle Griffiths, Four A’s executive director and board president, said in a statement Friday that the group began to internally investigate the lost funds in October.
“Four A’s intends to cooperate fully in the Anchorage Police Department’s investigation and with the District Attorney’s Office, if a prosecution is initiated,” Davis and Griffiths wrote. “Four A’s intends to pursue restitution for the unauthorized purchases. The Board of Four A’s is confident that there will be sufficient oversight on all of its financial matters moving forward.”
A criminal complaint against Bohall, written by APD Detective Anthony Pate, said Bohall maintains an Anchorage home but lives in West Hollywood, Calif. She had worked as Four A’s finance manager until September.
Her replacement, Briehton Stuart, told police on Dec. 20 that Bohall had “embezzled money from 2013 until October of 2017.”
According to Pate, Stuart noticed a recent charge on Bohall’s credit card at Four A’s although Bohall had turned in her card. Stuart learned only later that Bohall had had a new card issued, then turned in her old one.
“Stuart sent Bohall an email asking about [the charges,]” Pate wrote. “She said Bohall replied denying it too much which was suspicious to her. She started researching and found a lot of ‘bulls***’ charges on Bohall’s card.”
Clint Campion, an attorney and former Anchorage district attorney representing Four A’s, said the embezzlement was only discovered when Four A’s implemented a series of broader controls over its finances to better track fiscal issues.
“She had a great deal of responsibility in her employment over financial matters,” Campion said. “She was in a unique position to mask what we believe to be unauthorized purchases.”
According to Pate, Stuart told police that Bohall drew money from both state and federal funds in accounts for individual Four A’s clients.
“Some of the thefts was Bohall taking money from the individual accounts,” Pate wrote. “Bohall would do things like pull money from clients’ accounts to pay her cellphone bill. The bill would be paid on her credit card, but classified as being paid to Verizon for a client, taking the money from the client’s total.”
APD spokespersons weren’t immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.
As of Jan. 10, when a $10,000 warrant was issued for Bohall’s arrest, Pate said the total known loss of funds stood at $105,794.95.
“The victims believe Bohall may flee to the Philippines,” Pate wrote.
Bohall wasn’t listed in Alaska custody Friday, according to a statewide inmate database.
Campion said investigators were still determining how much of the missing money had come from the group’s partner organizations. He deferred questions on what Bohall allegedly bought with the stolen money, as well as what connections she has in the Philippines, to APD.
None of Bohall’s work at the non-profit gave rise to any prior suspicions about her, Campion said.
“It just came as a complete shock to the staff of Four A’s,” Campion said. “It’s somebody that they trusted a great deal, and that makes it more difficult.”
Daniella Rivera and Shannon Ballard contributed information to this story.
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