HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A settlement was reached between the state and the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area due to the organization’s bookkeeping methods and “the lack of internal oversight of purchases and reimbursements,” according to State Attorney General Michelle Henry.
The Attorney General’s office says the investigation into the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area focused on a failure to disclose the Executive Director’s housing stipend in the organization’s required yearly report.
Further violations by the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area included a “lack of appropriate internal oversight with regard to the use of business credit cards, purchasing, travel, and reimbursement policies.”
The organization is now required to maintain new standards and pay $45,055.25 to the Office of the Attorney General. The payment includes a $5,000 civil penalty and the remaining will be collected to recoup investigative costs.
The Humane Society of Harrisburg Area is also required to file amended IRS forms 990 for 2021, 2022, and going forward.
“It is essential that Pennsylvania’s non-profit and charitable organizations keep accurate records so we can ensure every aspect of the Charities Act and Nonprofit Corporation Law is being followed,” said Attorney General Henry. “It is part of my constitutional mandate as Attorney General to verify that a level of public transparency is maintained by these organizations.”
As required by the Charities Act and Nonprofit Corporation Law the investigation focused solely on the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area’s record-keeping.
The Attorney General’s office says the organization has “taken steps to improve financial control procedures and keep records up to standard,” which includes contracting with an outside auditor and enforcement of credit card and check-writing policies.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Vance-Rittman and Chief Deputy Attorney General Gene Herne of the Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section filed the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance today in Commonwealth Court.