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July 18, 2014

Fla. Nonprofit Head Charged With $460,000 Grant Diversion

The leader of a Homestead, Fla., nonprofit formed to help small businesses has been arrested on allegations that she stole $460,000 in taxpayer money from the group, including grants to help the blind, South Florida Business Journal reports.

Hilda Hall-Denis faces charges of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud in connection with her work at the Business Technology Development Corp. from 2006 to 2012. The organization's programs for businesses were fully funded by Miami-Dade County and state government agencies, among them the Florida Division of Blind Services.

Authorities allege Ms. Hall-Denis submitted phony and forged documents to obtain grants and justify expenditures, overbilled public agencies for employee salaries, and deposited funds earmarked to the charity in personal bank accounts.