"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Former Boston York Rite Secretary Charged in $1.25M Embezzlement

A former Secretary of two York Rite bodies in Boston, Massachusetts was arraigned in court on Tuesday on charges that he made off with $1.25 million from their treasuries over an 8 year period.

From the Boston Business Journal, "Suffolk DA: Boston Freemasons' treasurer embezzled $1.25M" by Galen Moore:

From 1999 until September, 2007, Vincent Paul Reed Jr. was the elected treasurer of two Masons chapters that meet at the Masons' lodge on Tremont Street in Boston's Theater District — the Boston Council of Royal Select Master Masons and the St. Paul's Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons — according to the Suffolk County district attorney's office.

Reed, of Shapleigh, Me., was arraigned today on charges he embezzled $1.25 million from the two organizations during that time, spending the money on travel, utilities, pets, collectibles and personal credit cards.

According to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, Reed's embezzlement scheme siphoned money from investment accounts held by the two Freemason chapters with UBS Painewebber into accounts at Bank of America, where both organizations held operating funds. Reed then allegedly spent the money illicitly via a debit card that the Masons did not know existed, and checks.

From the Boston Herald, "Freemason charged in $1M embezzlement" by Jessica Van Sack:

A spokesman for the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts released a statement thanking investigators for their hard work and saying they look forward to a “swift resolution.”

“When we discovered Mr. Reed’s actions, we immediately reported our findings to the authorities,” the statement said.

“Honor, integrity and trust are the bedrock principles of Freemasonry. We hold our members accountable for their actions and take transgressions seriously.”

The Herald reported in 2008 that Conley’s office began investigating along with Secretary of State William Galvin after a member of the lodge discovered irregularities.

In 2005, former Bay State Freemason Brad Bleidt was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for swindling millions from financial investors, including about $2 million from the Masons.

1 comment:

  1. Chris,
    Over my 30+ years as a CPA I cannot remember the number of times I have lectured,discussed,encourged and sometimes begged volunteer organizations to adopt some basic procedures that would help ensure accounting control. Just because we are Brothers doesn't excuse us from following procedures that are designed to protect our Masonic organization's assets.
    If any brother is interested in receiving a list of some basic procedures, they may email me at mdc@mdc-cpa.com and I will be more than happy send it to them.

    Mike Clevenger, PM
    New England Lodge #4
    Worthington, Ohio


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