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Former bookkeeper at People Against Rape charged with forgery after costing nonprofit thousands in grant money

Joyce Fotheringham

Joyce Fotheringham. Cannon Detention Center/Provided

A former bookkeeper is accused of falsifying grant documents when she worked for People Against Rape, which sent the Charleston nonprofit into financial stress several years ago.

The State Law Enforcement Division announced Monday that Joyce Ann Fotheringham, 56, is charged with forgery involving a value of $10,000 or more. An affidavit states she falsified grant documents in excess of $50,000 between 2010 and 2012.

The charge stems from a lengthy investigation after PAR's finances were determined to be in disarray. The nonprofit since has rebounded.

Fotheringham resigned and left the state after staff confronted her about the irregularities. She lives in De Leon Springs, Florida.

PAR lost $300,000 worth of grant money in 2012 after learning that $60,000 to $80,000 worth of bills that had never been paid were submitted for reimbursement. The board laid off all 13 employees that year. 

Three former employees who were let go sued PAR, claiming they weren’t paid what they were owed. They later reached a settlement.

During this time, the rape crisis center continued to operate with trained volunteers, leaning on community support. PAR's free services include a 24-hour hotline, accompaniment during forensic exams and support groups for adult survivors of sexual assault in the tri-county area.

PAR currently employs seven staff members, and all its grant funding has been restored, said Janie Lauve, who took the helm as executive director in 2015.

"We're back on stable footing, stable financial footing," she said. 

She applauded SLED's thorough investigation and said the outcome is a relief. "We're really pleased that it found no evidence that anyone other than the former bookkeeper was involved," she added.

Fotheringham is being held on $25,000 bail. The forgery charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a fine at the discretion of the court, or both. 

Reach Angie Jackson at 843-937-5705. Follow her on Twitter at @angiejackson23. 

Angie Jackson covers crime and breaking news for The Post and Courier. She previously covered the same beat for the Grand Rapids Press and in Michigan. When she’s not reporting, Angie enjoys teaching yoga and exploring the outdoors.

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