Monday, December 6, 2021

Financial Crime: Former head of charity for sorority that counted Aretha Franklin, Betty Shabazz as members sentenced for embezzlement

Aretha Franklin was among the members of Delta Sigma Theta. Jeanine Arnett and her husband were accused of embezzling $228,000 from a charity run by the sorority. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP)

In all, the couple misappropriated $228,000 from 2017 until 2019, prosecutors said. Jeanine Arnett was fired when the sorority discovered the missing money.

Diallo Arnett was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison. The couple was also ordered to forfeit $228,000 in assets plus pay another $228,000 in restitution.

Messages left with attorneys for the Arnetts weren’t immediately returned.

A university institution

The sorority, which was founded in 1913 at Howard University, has long been a highly-regarded institution in Black university life. The sorority has more than 1,000 collegiate and alumni chapters and has counted luminaries from former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to soul legend Aretha Franklin as members.

The charity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which is based in Washington, D.C., focuses on providing food aid for the hungry and support for victims of domestic violence, as well as providing grants and other support to students.

Phone calls to the sorority went unanswered Wednesday as the group’s office had closed early for Thanksgiving.

In court filings, the Arnetts said they had struggled financially since 2014 when Diallo Arnett was diagnosed with severe kidney disease and was unable to continue working. He received a kidney transplant last year.

Jeanine Arnett said her husband began using her company credit cards to cover costs and that they had intended to pay the money back, but the debt soon spiraled out of hand.

source: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B20C05575-04D4-B545-779F-8B47A3B3F87B%7D&siteid=rss&rss=1