Four Twin Cities-area women have been charged with felony conspiracy to commit to wire fraud after duping a non-profit out of nearly $700,000.
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced Tuesday that the charges against the four women stem from a lengthy investigation led by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Developing, with the alleged fraud happening between April 2012 and February 2019.
According to a release, Clarissa L. Combs, 48, of Brooklyn Park, was a former program manager for a Twin Cities non-profit – Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis – that provides housing for the homeless and she "devised and participated in a scheme to fraudulently obtain at least $684,081.90 in charitable funds from the organization."
Combs is accused of recruiting non-profit employees and her family and friends to pose as homeless clients to steal the money. The three other women charged with felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud are Bridgit Y. Michaud, 54, of Minneapolis; Jalonda L. Combs, 37, of Brooklyn Park; and Audrey S. Heath, 34, of Woodbury.
Assisting in the investigation were the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.