Sick children’s charity head stole tens of thousands of dollars while working in top spot
A one-time CEO for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Iowa has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $40,000 in purchases on her corporate credit card.
On Wednesday, Jennifer Woodley, 40, confessed to using a company credit card to make unsanctioned purchases, allotting herself unverified bonuses and raises to her salary and falsifying documents relating to these charges.
The branch that Woodley ran is one of 60 across the US, that provides help and unforgettable experiences to children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and their families. They are well known for arranging celebrity encounters.
Woodley pleaded guilty to two two charges of first-degree theft and one count of fraudulent practices, all felony counts.
Prosecutors have said they wish for her to serve five years under probation, including potential for fines and restitution. Documents allege that stole roughly $41,000.
Woodley is due to be sentenced on 20 July, and her lawyer Nicholas Sarcone said that he would request a deferred judgement then. If successful, the conviction would be removed from her record as long as she carries out all aspects of her sentencing, such a paying all fines imposed.
The crimes date back to 2019, following Woodley’s appointment to chief executive and only stopped when they were uncovered last year, which led to her dismissal and a criminal investigation.
Woodley turned herself in to authorities in January of the this year and has been out on bail since then and has relocated to North Carolina.
The Independent reached out to Make-A-Wish Foundation for comment.