NORTH COLLEGE HILL, OH (FOX19) - A woman is facing charges in Hamilton County because investigators believe she stole thousands of dollars from people with disabilities while she worked at a nonprofit.
Police believe Natasha Legesse, 38, stole thousands of dollars from people she was supposed to be helping. They said it happened between April 2014 and December 2017.
A grand jury indicted Legesse on five charges, including three counts of theft from a person in a protected class, one count of unauthorized use of property and one count of tampering with records. Legesse is accused of taking between $37,500 and $150,000 from people she helped care for while she was the Director of Cincinnati Program Services at the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It is a nonprofit in North College Hill.
According to court documents, there are eight victims, and they are all disabled, elderly or both. Records claim that Legesse defrauded them by taking control of their property or services without their consent.
A post on Clovernook’s Facebook page shows that Legesse was recognized as “employee of the year” in 2015. Three former employees told FOX19 NOW that the situation is sad and heartbreaking.
Clovernook’s CEO released a statement Monday that reads:
"In the late summer of 2017, Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired learned of an investigation centered on the activities of Natasha Green, now known as Natasha Lagesse. At the time, Ms. Green was the Director of Cincinnati Program Services at Clovernook. Following an internal investigation, Clovernook terminated Ms. Green for cause on Sept. 8, 2017.
Since learning of this investigation in the summer of 2017, Clovernook has fully cooperated with both the Hamilton County Department of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Cincinnati Police Department during their respective investigations into this matter.
In addition, Clovernook has worked both internally and with DDS to implement changes to its policies, procedures, and practices to improve its program services in general and its case-management services specifically.
Clovernook is extremely proud of its 115-year history of empowering people who are blind and visually impaired to be self-sufficient and full participants in their communities. We look forward to continuing this important mission for many more years to come.
About Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a nonprofit organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Services that provides various services and programs to the blind and visually impaired. Originally founded in 1903 as the first Home for Blind Women in Ohio, Clovernook’s mission is to empower people who are blind and visually impaired to be self sufficient and full participants in their communities."
Legesse is currently out of jail on bond. She is scheduled to appear in Hamilton County court on Friday.