YMCA defrauded out of over $500,000

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

SALISBURY — Police are investigating after an employee at a YMCA in Salisbury reported that a check worth over $500,000 was stolen from the mail and cashed elsewhere.

Police began the investigation after an employee at the YMCA reported on Saturday that the check had never arrived in the mail, said Sergeant Justin Crotty, a spokesperson for the Salisbury Police Department. The employee told police that the business was supposed to receive a check worth $556,231 from the federal government as part of the COVID relief plan for employee retention.

Crotty said that the employee told police that the check had been whitewashed, which is where chemicals found in common household cleaning supplies are used to erase the ink from a check. The check was then allegedly cashed either in Alabama or Arkansas.

The check had been mailed from the IRS and routed through the Charlotte distribution center, where Crotty said there had been multiple other reports of checks being stolen and whitewashed. Those reports have been ongoing since before November of 2022, Crotty said.

Although the reports generally concern the Charlotte distribution center, officers have been unable to confirm whether the checks are being stolen from there or another area post office, Crotty said.