The former CEO of the Make-A-Wish chapter in Iowa has pleaded guilty to embezzling from the charity almost $41,000, money that would’ve gone to help fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses.
Jennifer Woodley confessed last week that she made unauthorized purchases on a foundation credit card, gave herself an unapproved bonus and salary increases and falsified foundation records related to those expenses, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
In January of this year, Woodley turned herself in. She had been the CEO and president since 2019, when her theft first began. The group reportedly first discovered Woodley’s financial irregularities during an internal review last summer and subsequently fired her and began a criminal investigation, the AP reports.
Woodley pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree theft and one count of fraudulent practices, all of which are felonies. As part of a plea agreement, the 40-year-old may only receive a sentence of five years of probation on top of fines and restitution, according to the AP.
In Iowa, if more than $10,000 is embezzled, defendants can be punished by up to 10 years in prison and be fined between $1,000 and $10,000, according to an Iowa Criminal Defense Attorneys office.
She is expected to attend a hearing on July 20.
Nicholas Sarcone, Woodley’s attorney, wants to defer the judgment in hopes of getting the case expunged from her record if Woodley could manage to complete her probation and the other parts of her sentence.
Arrest records show that Woodley now lives in North Carolina.
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