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I just got this email from MITA. Very disappointing that someone would steal from an organization with such an important mission.


We have the unfortunate duty to inform you that we recently uncovered evidence of a significant case of embezzlement at the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA). The Board of Trustees and staff take very seriously our responsibility to make sure our membership dues, donations, and other contributions are used as intended for the stewardship of Maine's wild islands. It was in the process of fulfilling that responsibility and improving our financial controls that this fraud was uncovered, triggering an immediate investigation.

MITA retained Verrill Dana, LLP to assist and advise us in this matter. The accounting firm of Dawson, Smith, Purvis and Bassett has completed a full forensic examination of the case. As a result, we believe we know the identity of the embezzler, a former member of MITA's staff. The activity appears to have taken place over a period spanning five fiscal years. The total amount involved is approximately $117,000 -- the equivalent of 4.5% of MITA's operating budget per year on average of the fiscal years affected. Despite these past losses, we are pleased to report we are able to meet all our financial obligations and continue to move forward.h

Rest assured that the Board's Finance Committee and staff took immediate action on a wide variety of fronts to enhance the security of the organization and its finances to help ensure such a tragedy does not occur again. We have begun to take all appropriate steps to recover the missing funds and to hold the responsible individual fully accountable. We have brought a civil action in Cumberland County Superior Court to recover money damages and have reported this matter to the Portland Police Department.

We want you to know that we share your disappointment and are deeply sorry. Your confidence in MITA and its mission is critically important and we sincerely hope to maintain it. We will be working with the Board, staff, and professional experts to that end so that MITA's work on the islands will continue and grow.

If you would like to discuss this matter with either of us, please call 207-761-8225. While extremely upsetting to all of us, we ask that you treat this situation with appropriate sensitivity. Please know that we will provide additional information as it becomes available.


Rod Vogel

Chairman, Board of Trustees

Doug Welch

Executive Director

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