Grosse Pointe Park Man Arrested in Scheme to Steal Funds from Religious Charity
A Grosse Pointe Park resident was arrested today in connection with a federal criminal complaint charging him with obtaining by fraud, embezzling, and unlawfully converting to his own use the funds of the Holy Cross organization, a large charitable organization based in Clinton, Michigan, that receives federal funds, announced Acting United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin.
Joining in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters of the FBI.
Charged in the criminal complaint is John R. Lynch, 56. The affidavit supporting the complaint states that in March 2012 Lynch became the CFO of the Holy Cross organization, and in January 2015 he became its CEO. Holy Cross was established in 1948 when Boysville of Michigan was incorporated under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. Boysville of Michigan later became Holy Cross Children’s Services. The Holy Cross organization provides welfare services to disadvantaged children and adolescents, behavioral health services to adolescents and adults, and a number of support services to the homeless. Holy Cross services are provided mostly to individuals in Southeast and Mid-Michigan. The Holy Cross organization also includes the Samaritan Center, a large community resource center that provides healthcare, employment services, and other forms of support to residents of Detroit’s east side.
The complaint affidavit states that when he was Holy Cross’s CEO, Lynch used Holy Cross funds to pay for repairs to his own cars, install a new roof on his house, pay down his personal mortgage balance, and make payments on a personal American Express account. Lynch also used Holy Cross funds to pay his own consulting company and to pay another company hired to provide security services at the Samaritan Center, a company ostensibly controlled by a relative but actually controlled by him. Lynch attempted to justify some of these payments with bogus invoices The complaint affidavit also relates that Lynch used his corporate Holy Cross American Express card to pay for goods and services of a personal nature.
Holy Cross receives federal funds under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. It also receives federal funds under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, which pays for foster care and provides adoption assistance and guardianship assistance.
The complaint charges Lynch with wire fraud, mail fraud, and embezzling and stealing funds under the care, custody, and control of an organization receiving federal funds. A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to seek a felony indictment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hiyama. The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.