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September 15, 2016

How insurance could have protected CNY SPCA from losing nearly $700,000

By Sarah Moses | 
Follow on Twitter on September 15,
2016 at 1:53 PM, updated September 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM



SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Insurance experts who work with nonprofits across New York state and nationally say the Central New York SPCA could have protected themselves from losing nearly $700,000 in an embezzlement scam by buying insurance.

Fidelity insurance, also known as crime insurance or employee dishonesty insurance, can protect an organization if a fraudulent act, such as embezzlement, occurs by employees or volunteers, according to experts.

Former SPCA Executive Director Paul Morgan and Taylor Gilkey, a veterinarian technician at the SPCA, stole $692,000 from the CNY SPCA over five years, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced last month. They used the money to go gambling and take trips, he said.

Morgan, 45, of Salina, was accused of stealing $475,000 between 2011 and July 2016. Gilkey, 32, of Canastota, was accused of stealing $217,000. Both were arraigned Aug. 26, charged with second-degree grand larceny.

The investigation started in July, when a bank worker contacted the CNY SPCA about suspicious activity, Fitzpatrick said. Nick Pirro, the SPCA's treasurer and former county executive of Onondaga County, then contacted the district attorney's office, he said.

An investigation revealed money had been taken from an operating account between 2011 and July, Fitzpatrick said. Over the course of five years, Morgan wrote himself 107 checks which he later cashed -- stealing $475,000, Fitzpatrick said. Morgan's salary from the SPCA was $118,118 in 2014, according to tax records filed by the SPCA.

Peter Andrew, the president of Council Services Plus, Inc., said a non-profit the size of the CNY SPCA is encouraged to carry a fidelity insurance plan that has $100,000 to $500,000 coverage. Council Services Plus Inc. was created by theNew York Council of Nonprofits, which is a statewide association that provides a collective policy voice for the nonprofit sector and serves as a crucial support and information provider. Council Services Plus provides insurance exclusively to nonprofits.


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