Board member accused of stealing $5,000 from addiction recovery program

CREATED May 14, 2014

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RACINE - Nate Nelson takes pride in showing off his house. A house he shares with three other men all working to stay sober.

"It saved me pretty much," said Nelson.

The Oxford House and the vision of Ryane's House of Hope works to help addicts stay clean.

"Everyone on the board is dedicated to this process so I never gave it a thought that we could be harboring a problem."

In December, Bill Frank noticed the house account wasn't adding up.

"Unbeknownst to the house because of the smoke and mirrors, they were broke," said Bill Frank, Co-founder of Ryane's House of Hope.

Board member Matthew Palmer is accused of writing checks to himself on the non-profit's account.

In a criminal complaint he blamed struggling financially for his transgression. 

"He and I had a good friendship together. To know that he stole from addicts was disappointing."

In all, Palmer is accused of stealing $5,000 from an organization trying hard to give recovering addicts a second chance.

"We vetted his resume and things looked good. We took the rest on faith - we learned a lesson and probably will never repeat that lesson again."

Click here for more information on Ryane's House of Hope