An executive who worked at a Northeast Ohio development corporation nonprofit was arrested on Thursday morning and charged in federal court with embezzling money from the company.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Tamiko Parker, 46, was charged with one count of theft of federal funds.
Parker is the former executive director of the Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation; a nonprofit that acquires land on the Northeast side of Cleveland then develops and leases it.
Between September 2014 and February 2016, Parker allegedly "misused various accounts through a variety of schemes including making unauthorized cash withdrawals, having checks issued to her and using debit and credit cards to pay her personal expenses," attorneys said.
Authorities said Parker used the company's debit card on various purchases at a Harley Davidson store, Victoria's Secret and the former Horseshoe Casino, which is now the Jack Casino. Additionally, authorities said Parker spent misappropriated money in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. She also used the company's credit card at Home Depot to buy appliances.
Beyond the credit and debit card transactions, Authorities said Parker would collect money from tenants from the nonprofit's properties and deposit the funds into her personal bank accounts.
“This defendant betrayed the trust placed in her by a city and a community,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Instead of using her position to spur redevelopment, she used it as a personal piggy bank to gamble and travel.”
“Ms. Parker stole hundreds of thousands of dollars planned for economic development in the community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The only thing Ms. Parker was developing was her lavish lifestyle. She will now be held accountable for being a thief.”
“Those funds were designated to improve the lives of the residents and business owners in the Collinwood neighborhood,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.