Former Colo. National Guard Foundation volunteer charged with embezzling group’s money

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DENVER — A former Colorado National Guard Foundation volunteer was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $350,000 from the Colorado Military Family Relief Fund and the Colorado National Guard Foundation’s own fund.

Board members discovered problems during an internal audit of National Guard Foundation accounts in February 2012 according to a press release.

“They immediately contacted the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, which began investigating Ruthann Oppenheim, who was the treasurer for the charitable organization from 2009 until the investigation began,” the foundation says.

“We’re deeply sorry this happened,” said Andrew Meverden, chairperson of the foundation.

“Our top priority is to protect the funds so that eligible Colorado families of deployed military service members continue to receive the help they need, when they need it. Fortunately no eligible military service member or family was turned down or didn’t receive financial assistance despite the missing funds.”

The Colorado Military Family Relief Fund has raised more than $1 million since 2005 to help military families who pay Colorado income taxes and are facing deployment-related hardships.

Colorado National Guard Foundation’s funds come from donations by individuals, companies, and benevolent organizations.