Former Columbus YMCA CFO accused of embezzlement appears in court

Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a local nonprofit recently faced a Muscogee County judge.

In a yellow jail-issued jumpsuit and handcuffed at her wrist, Donna Fiquett faced a judge in Recorder’s Court while hearing the evidence against her from Sgt. Jane Edenfield of the Columbus Police Department.

“September of this year, the Columbus Police Department was notified of an embezzlement of the Chief Financial Officer of the YMCA,” said Edenfield.

That tip was from the YMCA’s CEO as the nonprofit was attempting to update its current financial system.

“This initially started as the CEO was wanting to upgrade their system, payment systems, payroll and things like that to get their numbers straight.”

It didn’t take long to uncover the numbers were not straight, pushing the nonprofit to open a full audit into the organization. That’s when they noticed some red flags, especially surrounding Fiquett, dating back to 2020. Over 900 purchases from Amazon Grub Hub, and the list goes on.

“Optomerist. She bought contacts. The Orlando trip where she paid for a hotel, and from her public Facebook, she gave a review about the hotel from the trip where she used the business cared to pay for.”

Edenfield testified in court that Fiquett, who was the Chief Financial Officer for the Y, allegedly used two separate cards to make the purchases totaling over $270,000 of money that belonged to the YMCA.

“A lot of times we see these embezzlement schemes in cases it is people like the CFO’s. They are the top of checks and balances, or in situations where there are small businesses, and they’re people who are the top and so any money would have had to go through her.”

News Leader 9 reached out to the CEO of the YMCA, and he declined to comment until the investigation is over.