Saugus selectman, 2 others accused of stealing nearly $2M from Boston nonprofit

BOSTON (WHDH) - A Saugus selectman, along with two other individuals, are facing criminal charges after authorities say they stole nearly $2 million from an educational nonprofit in Boston where they worked.

Selectman Mark Mitchell, 49, who served as comptroller at the Boston Center for Adult Education from 2011 to 2018, is facing charges including making false entries in corporate books, publishing of false or exaggerated statements, common law forgery, common law uttering, three counts of forgery, three counts of uttering, and four counts of larceny by scheme, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced.

Mitchell allegedly embezzled up to $970,000 that belonged to the nonprofit by issuing unauthorized checks to himself and to a BCAE instructor, whose signature the defendant forged in order to deposit the checks into his own account, Rollins said.

Mitchell is also said to have made $242,000 in payments from the nonprofit to an elite youth baseball league that he owned and operated, in addition to allegedly misusing his political campaign funds for personal expenses unrelated to his campaign.

Former BCAE executive director, 66-year-old Susan Brown, and 49-year-old marketing employee, Karen Kalfian, are also charged in connection with the theft scheme.

Brown, a native of Marblehead, is accused of authorizing $565,000 in checks to Kalfian, also of Marblehead, Rollins said. Brown had served as executive director from 2009 to 2018.

The checks were purportedly payments for marketing services.

Kalfian briefly worked for the nonprofit in 2005 but did not perform any marketing services for the organization in the years since, prosecutors allege.

All three suspects were released on their own recognizance with orders to stay away from the nonprofit after they were arraigned Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court.

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