This time it happened in a 72-unit condominium in Massachusetts. The Board Member Treasurer did things like writing checks to her contractor son for made up work and none of the other Board Members or owners were reviewing condo records like bank statements. When other Board Members stumbled upon the records years later, the fraud was revealed but it was too late; the money was gone, there was no insurance available and the owners were left without $183,000.
It really is important for organizations to have framework, policies and procedures in place for their Boards. Board Members need to oversee their organization’s business but also their fellow Board Members. They are fiduciaries who are charged with looking out for the best interest of their members. There is no excuse for a Board Member of any type or size organization not to have unconditional and ready access to organization records and not to regularly review those records (like bank statements) and allow such a fraud to happen.
If you’re a volunteer Board Member you should ask yourself where are my organization’s records? How do I access them? When was the last time I looked at them? I may be responsible for the actions of my fellow Board Members and others running my organization so I’d better start overseeing them before its too late.