Ex-head of charity sentenced to prison for embezzlement

Posted at 12:49 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 12:49:41-05

CLINTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — The former leader of a Michigan charity for children and families was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison for embezzling about $250,000.

John Lynch of Grosse Pointe Park also must serve six months in a halfway house, a federal judge said.

Lynch, 57, was chief financial officer and then chief executive at Holy Cross, which provides social services in parts of Michigan.

Prosecutors had asked for a longer prison sentence, noting that Lynch used Holy Cross money to pay for car repairs, mortgage payments and credit card bills.

Lynch “is exactly the type of white-collar criminal that needs to be deterred: a well-educated individual who sees a financial opportunity and uses his intelligence and corrupt character to exploit it through dishonest means,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hiyama said in a court filing.

The government said Lynch stole about $250,000. But he has repaid more than $257,000 so far and has a balance of $82,000, under a separate agreement with Holy Cross, defense attorney Mike Rataj said.

“Mr. Lynch acknowledges that he only has himself to blame for what he has done,” Rataj said.