Risk Management

Bummer of Love

Ex-CFO of nonprofit Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, now grown from its roots serving a '60s Hippie population, pleads guilty to embezzling $773,000 th...
Stephen TaubMay 1, 2008

A former CFO of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics — established in the 1960s to serve the population of Hippie “flower children” migrating to San Francisco — was sentenced to seven years in prison for embezzlement.

The former finance chief, Carl Gill, pleaded guilty to stealing $773,000 from the citywide health care provider for the poor, which has evolved from those roots in San Francisco’s famous “summer of love.” The plea included two felony counts of grand theft and six counts of tax evasion, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In addition to the prison term, Gill agreed to pay restitution of the stolen amount, plus $174,000 in back taxes and $1,400 in fines, according to the paper.

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The Associated Press said that between 2001 and 2003, Gill set up bogus corporations using names similar to those of the clinic’s vendors. He then paid himself instead of those who were owed the money, the AP explained.

The Chronicle explained that Gill took advantage of a requirement that nonprofits receiving federal grants, such as the free clinic, return any unspent money. These repayments are supposed to go directly to a federal office.

However, the paper explained that Gill created an account at a bank under a name similar to the federal office and for more than two years had clinic workers give him the checks, which he deposited into his account.

He was fired in January 2004 after Haight’s CEO noticed some financial irregularities, according to the press accounts.