'Fairy Godmother' Charged With Stealing $5.1M

Ephonia Green allegedly embezzled from nonprofit

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 25, 2013 3:55 PM CST

(Newser) – Ephonia Green has been called a "fairy godmother": Over the past five years, she's given away 275 wedding gowns from her Maryland bridal shop to military brides. But, uh, since 2005, she's also allegedly been doing something else: stealing millions from a nonprofit organization. Green is accused of stealing $5.1 million from the Association of American Medical Colleges, which administers the MCAT medical school admissions test, while she worked there as a $56,000-a-year administrative assistant, the Washington Post reports.

How the 44-year-old allegedly did it: by registering company trade names that sounded a lot like the names of legitimate vendors, opening bank accounts in those names, creating and approving fake invoices for the real vendors, having the printed checks directed to her, and depositing them in the similarly-named bank accounts. (For example, she allegedly scored $3.7 million by depositing checks for the real Brookings Institution into her account for the fake Brookings Institute.) But she was caught in July, when she allegedly tried to deposit a $113,000 check into an account she opened two days earlier; rather than process the payment, the bank alerted the association. Green is due in court for a plea hearing today.

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