A prominent Nelson non-profit society has been defrauded of nearly $600,000.
In a statement on their website, the Nelson CARES Society says it was the victim of a cyber-security incident where $596,694 was removed from one of its bank accounts. So far $211,079 has been recovered and the society is working with the Nelson Police Department and Nelson and District Credit Union to get the other $385,615 back.
However, the society says it is managing to function as normal despite the theft.
“To date, the loss of funds has had minimal impact on our front-line care or any of the programming we deliver due to the use of internal reserve funds,” executive director Jac Nobiss said. “Our server system, client, funder, and donor information are completely protected.”
Nobiss said people who live in its facilities are not at risk of losing their housing, nor are their staff and volunteers in danger of losing their jobs: “Our ability to move and shift within our budgets allows us to remain focused on keeping and sustaining jobs at all levels.”
Nobiss said the board has been meeting regularly since the incident and has the “full, unwavering support of our funding partners who are standing with us to provide resources and assistance if, and when needed.”
The theft is mentioned briefly in the organization’s 2021-22 financial statements but was not widely known until this week.
Nelson CARES has been around for 48 years and runs several apartment buildings and other services. We requested an interview with them but they did not return our messages.