FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A pastor who formed a charity to build group homes for HIV-positive substance abusers has raided its accounts for personal expenses.
An investigation found the governing board of the Archey AIDS Foundation is essentially nonexistent and that the founder, the Rev. Donald Archey, acknowledged to forging the signature of its treasurer to open a bank account.
Archey began having fund-raisers in July 2002 to raise money to build two group homes, one for men and one for women. However, last September it notified the Internal Revenue Service it had raised just $43,500, had less than $2,000 in its bank account, and Archey said it would direct all of its proceeds to a children-oriented program.
Archey, who's listed as executive director and board president of the foundation, said accusations raised by people involved with the group are not true.
''Yes, some i's weren't dotted, some t's weren't crossed,'' Archey said. ''But all money has been accounted for. ... There's been nothing misappropriated.''
He said donors should not worry about the financial questions being raised about the group and that new policies were being put in place to prevent further problems.
It is unclear who approved the new policies or how they will be enforced, because Archey is one of only two board members.
Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said his office was reviewing material related to the foundation.
''If it's a small board that's essentially controlled by one person, and if the information hasn't been shared with the other board member, that's obviously a concern,'' Carter said. ''When you don't have any outsider that has the ability to see what's going on and address it by virtue of a leadership position, then there isn't any effective oversight.
Ron Muckway said he joined the board as treasurer in August only to discover that Archey was using agency money to pay his personal bills, including a cable TV bill and credit card bills.
Muckway said the children-oriented program ended months ago, but Archey said it continues at the outreach center of New World Church, where he is pastor.
According to bank statements for June, August and September that Muckway provided to the newspaper, the foundation made more than $700 in payments to Donald Archey's Capital One credit card. There were also payments to Comcast cable for service at Archey's house.
Archey said the credit card payments were for foundation expenses that he put on his personal credit card. He said he receives no income from the foundation.
Archey contends Muckway was never a board member and that Muckway was asked only to help straighten out the foundation's finances.
Archey said Cathy Wilson is the board's treasurer, but Wilson said Archey has kept the charity's financial information secret from her, used foundation money for personal expenses and forged her signature on bank documents. She said the board has not met for the past year.
''It's just been him that's getting the money and disbursing the money the way he wants to do it,'' Wilson said. ''I'm supposed to be the treasurer, but I've never had any dealings with that part at all. I've never written a check.''
Archey acknowledged forging Wilson's signature to set up a bank account, but said he did so only because he could not reach her at the time.
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