Authorities: Former Iowa Make-A-Wish CEO Embezzled Tens of Thousands of Dollars
Last July, we told you that Jennifer Woodley was being dismissed as the President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Iowa after the organization said they found financial irregularities during an internal compliance review. We now know more about what they say they found, following Woodley's arrest on Thursday.
We Are Iowa says that in October of 2019, just months after she began to lead Make-A-Wish Iowa, Woodley gave herself a $10,000 bonus. She allegedly added her bonus to a list of other workers who had legitimate bonuses coming to them. According to police, in total, that bonus alone cost the organization more than $15,500. Woodley's bonus had not been approved by the Make-A-Wish Iowa board.
Authorities also allege Woodley used a Make-A-Wish Iowa credit card on 84 different personal use purchases during a 10-month period. The purchases totaled over $23,000. The criminal complaints against Woodley say Make-A-Wish has not been reimbursed for the purchases.
Woodley, 40, was arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail on Thursday. She has been charged with two counts of first-degree theft and one count of unauthorized use of a credit card. All three charges are class C felonies, each punishable with up to a 10-year prison sentence. She was released on bond.
Make-A-Wish Iowa board chairman Dave Farnsworth says the organization is,
Deeply saddened and disappointed by the events. We thank the Urbandale Police Department for its investigation into this breach of Make-A-Wish's ethical standards and policies, and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement. We know that we have an obligation to safeguard every dollar given to us.
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