Former Make-A-Wish Iowa CEO Pleads Guilty to Embezzling From The Charity
In July of 2020, we told you that Jennifer Woodley, the CEO of Make-A-Wish Iowa, had been dismissed after "financial irregularities (were) discovered during an internal compliance review." In January of 2021, she was arrested and charged with taking at least $38,000 from the charity. She's now pleaded guilty but may not go to prison.
According to KCCI, Woodley entered a written plea last week in which she admitted that she stole large amounts of money from Make-A-Wish Iowa. The money was taken via a foundation credit card that Woodley used to make purchases that weren't authorized. She also admitted to giving herself salary increases and a bonus, none of which received approval. Woodley also put false entries into the charity's books to cover the money she had embezzled.
KCCI says the total amount taken from Make-A-Wish Iowa was almost $41,000. Authorities say she began to embezzle funds shortly after being named Make-A-Wish Iowa CEO in August of 2019. It continued until the charity discovered those financial irregularities in the summer of 2020.
The 40-year-old Woodley's guilty plea was for First-Degree Theft (2 counts) and Fraudulent Practices (1 count). The plea agreement calls for prosecution lawyers to ask for five years of probation for Woodley. She would also be fined and have to pay restitution to the charity.
Woodley's attorney says they'll request a deferred sentence at her July 20 sentencing. If that is approved and Woodley completes probation and other requirements, the case would be dismissed.
12 Stupid Iowa Laws Still on the Books