Woman charged with stealing from charity for kids - WNEM TV 5

Woman charged with stealing from charity for kids

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Source: Attorney General Bill Schuette Source: Attorney General Bill Schuette

A Flushing woman has been charged with obstruction of justice in addition to six felony embezzlement charges after authorities say she misused nearly $20,000 intended for her children's charity. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges Monday, March 20. 

Investigators said Dian Stephens, 53, allegedly held charitable gaming events at an area "poker room" called Pocket Aces in Flint with her organization "Community Kids Martial Arts Science" between Jan. 2011 and Oct. 2013. 

The organization claimed to teach martial arts to local children in Flint. It also claimed to offer tutoring, after school and summer care, as well as international trips for kids. 

Investigators said Stephens allegedly used charitable funds to pay the bills for her for-profit business and her own personal expenses. She also did not tell the state that her organization's nonprofit status was revoked. 

Stephens held seven charity poker fundraisers after the revocation, investigators said. 

“This woman claimed she wanted to help Flint kids, but instead it appears she used her charity as a front to bolster herself personally,” Schuette said. “This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and instead of facing up to her alleged actions, Ms. Stephens allegedly continued to try and shirk the law. In a city that has already suffered so much, I take any allegations very seriously.”

Stephens was originally charged in 2016 with six felony embezzlement charges. She was arrested and charged with an additional charge of obstruction of justice on March 6, 2017 after investigators said she presented falsified documents during a Genesee County Circuit Court appearance. 

In total, Stephens is charged with the following:

  • One count of obstruction of justice; a felony punishable by up to five years in prison;
  • Three felony counts of embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization; each charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison;
  • Three five-year felony counts of embezzlement-agent or trustee of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000; each charge carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison.

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