To the Lafayette community:
We write today to share some concerning news. We discovered suspected misuse of HSA funds and have contacted the DC Police. We believe a Lafayette parent used HSA funds to pay their own personal expenses.
Immediately upon discovering the suspicious activity earlier this month, we:
- Froze the HSA’s bank accounts to safeguard existing funds;
- Hired an accountant to conduct a financial review to validate our concerns; and
- Consulted legal counsel to provide guidance on appropriate next steps.
While we are still pursuing a full accounting of the matter, the accountant has identified questionable transactions dating back to 2016 with a preliminary total of about $25,000. We are still seeking documentation that could reduce or increase that figure. We contacted the person we believe to be responsible for the misappropriation, and that person has committed to repay all misused funds. We are in the process of filing a police report and are pursuing all possible efforts to be made financially whole, with the advice of the counsel we have retained.
We are appalled at this betrayal of our community’s trust. We regret we did not uncover this questionable spending earlier and are committed to increasing oversight to prevent it from happening again. The immediate steps we are taking include:
- Discontinuing use of HSA credit or debit cards linked to HSA bank accounts;
- Requiring reimbursement forms and checks to have two signatures;
- Reviewing bank statements at monthly board meetings;
- Hiring an accountant to review our records to present monthly to the board and to the general membership at regularly scheduled meetings;
- Presenting a written financial report to the general membership at the end of the HSA fiscal year;
- Development of new procedures for handling cash, including a requirement that it be deposited within 24 hours of collection;
- Requirement that checks include a description on the memo line and be deposited no later than five days from receipt;
- Instituting an annual audit; and
- Updating the HSA bylaws to ensure continuity of these new policies and procedures in the future.
While this is a troubling situation for our organization, student programs the HSA funds will not be impacted. Those programs are described in the budget that can be downloaded at http://www.lafayettehsa.org/hsa/budget. We will continue to update you as we can share more details.
We thank you for your continued support,
The HSA Board