Risk Management

Did CFO Embezzle $3m to Invest in the Market?

Attorney for Gregory Colley, who pleaded not guilty, says the parking-lot exec was trying to make restitution to the San Francisco nonprofit that e...
Stephen Taub and Roy HarrisAugust 12, 2008

The former finance executive for a nonprofit that operates a museum parking lot in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park pleaded not guilty to charges that he embezzled more than $3 million from the company.

Gregory Colley, who worked for the Music Community Concourse Partnership, which manages underground parking at the park’s M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, was also charged with money laundering and identity theft, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

If convicted, he faces up to 14 years and 8 months in state prison and a fine of $10,000 plus restitution, the paper said.

Press reports said that Colley was charged with transferring money from the nonprofit’s bank account into his personal account. It was further reported that he was charged with taking some money to invest in the stock market, but then found himself unable to pay it back when the market declined.

In a telephone interview with CFO.com, Colley’s attorney, Julia Mezhinsky Jayne of the firm of Campbell & Jayne LLP, said that her client had not made any statements, and that he was making no admissions. And she would not comment on whether he had invested company funds in the stock market. But, she said, “His goal has been to make restitution; he was working toward that” in dealing with his former employer.

That included making an arrangement to turn over his Mill Valley home to the company. “It’s public record that he has agreements with them, including turning over his home,” Jayne said.

“He’s paying the price for what initially happened,” she added. “And whatever happened, his intent was never to harm MCCP.”

The Marin paper quoted San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris as saying, “As a financial steward, this defendant had a responsibility to safeguard the interests of the not-for-profit that employed him.”