Idaho State Journal: Second Aid For Friends staff member pleads guilty to embezzling $83,000

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Barbara Waters, a longtime manager for the Aid For Friends Representative Payee Program, pleaded guilty in federal court for embezzling almost $83,000 from the program she oversaw, the Idaho State Journal reported Sept. 4. 

She signed a plea agreement in July and officially pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 to theft of government property. That crime has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

In the plea agreement, Waters admitted to cashing checks and writing checks from the Aid For Friends Social Security Administration trust account for her own personal expenses.

Aid For Friends is a private, nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter, transitional housing and other supportive services to families and individuals facing homelessness. In their mission statement, they say they “offer a second chance for life.”

The Representative Payee Program has about 150 clients. There, the clients' Social Security checks are deposited into a trust account and employees of Aid For Friends write checks to pay the clients' bills. Aids for Friends claims Waters is responsible for $83,000 going missing, but she claims the figure is only $70,000. She was in her position for 12 years. She’s the second employee to be convicted of embezzling funds from the program.

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