American Bar says axed staff member stole US$1.3m

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The American Bar Association (ABA) has confirmed reports that a staff member, which it promptly sacked, had diverted about US$1.3m in funds from the organisation.

The funds were diverted by the unnamed individual between 2010 and 2017 using falsified documents to back transactions, the ABA said. Jack Rives, ABA executive director, said that the organisation is seeking to recover the funds from its insurance carrier and expects to recover most of it.

The ABA only became aware of the theft in September, after greed got the better of the former non-managerial staff member, who tried to divert more and more money. During the time the diversions were made, the ABA’s expenses exceeded US$1.7bn, the ABA Journal reported.

Authorities and the executive committee of the organisation’s board of governors were notified by staff members who discovered the theft. The ABA is also investigating the matter, assisted by forensic experts from Grant Thornton.

The ABA said that it has placed more stringent controls and financial oversight after a review of procedures.


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