Non-Profit Leaders Accused of Theft from 403(b)

April 24, 2012 ( - Two former leaders of the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) are being charged with felony grand theft for misusing employees’ retirement funds.

MACSA CEO Olivia Soza-Mendiola and former CFO Benjamin Tan allegedly used employees’ retirement savings for school supplies, a salary raise, a YMCA membership, food from local supermarkets, computers, office supplies and other general operating costs, the Gilroy Dispatch of California reports.  The two reportedly skimmed $1 million from employees’ pension and 403(b) accounts.

Charges levied against MACSA’s former leaders were announced following a review by the District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Labor, who spent two-and-a-half years conducting dozens of interviews, pouring over more than 400,000 pages of seized documents and executing forensic searches of more than five million computer files.  

According to the Gilroy Dispatch, in early 2009, MACSA workers discovered their pension system had not been properly credited with money deducted from their paycheck. Around this time allegations of MACSA’s crippling mismanagement and “self protective measures” ignited a financial scandal at the agency’s two charter schools: Academia Calmecac in San Jose and the now defunct El Portal Leadership Academy on IOOF Avenue in Gilroy, the news report said.