Statement From the American Diabetes Association

Alexandria,
September 23, 2011

The American Diabetes Association (Association) announced earlier today that Adrienne Carrington, a former Association employee, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in Federal Court in Alexandria, VA.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 20, 2012.  Her plea was the culmination of many months of internal and external forensic investigative work by the Association, and the collective efforts of both the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Ms. Carrington, who worked in the Association’s financial services division, stole approximately $570,000 in Association funds through 133 fraudulent wire transactions over the course of her 10-year employment with the organization.

As part of its risk management profile, the Association has maintained an insurance policy including a provision to address employee theft.  The Association has filed a claim with its insurance carrier to be reimbursed for the stolen funds and expects full reimbursement.

A forensic investigation commissioned by the Association revealed that Ms. Carrington went to elaborate lengths to conduct and conceal her activities. The investigation uncovered evidence that Ms. Carrington fabricated internal accounting records to create the appearance that funds were used for legitimate purposes, when in fact they were directed to a bank account belonging to an immediate family member.  The investigation also concluded that no one else at the Association was involved.

The Association took swift action upon the discovery of Ms. Carrington’s illegal conduct. Ms. Carrington was terminated in 2010 when it was discovered she had forged the signatures of senior Association staff on official administrative documents.  Immediately following her termination, the Association launched an internal review of her activities during her employment, which led to the discovery of her accounting irregularities.  Shortly thereafter, the Association retained an independent forensic research firm to determine the full scope of Ms. Carrington‘s criminal actions against the organization.  Upon its completion, the findings of the investigation were referred to the FBI.

The Association has taken aggressive action to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future. The organization has completed a comprehensive review of its entire financial structure, and has since taken assertive steps to strengthen its internal banking and accounting practices. The Association has put in place new employee oversight procedures, implemented new strict monitoring and reporting protocols, and will require all financial services staff to undergo annual fraud detection training.  These efforts will ensure employees with access to sensitive Association financial information have a clear understanding of their legal and fiduciary duties, and will significantly enhance employee accountability and transparency from within the organization.

The Association would like to thank the Washington field office of the FBI and the office of the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia for their work on this case.  Most importantly, the Association would like to thank its members, volunteers, organizers, and the entire diabetes community for their continued support at this time.

About the American Diabetes Association

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and every 23 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETESS (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)