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Bills in high denominations

DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind.–A former Executive Director of a nonprofit organization that mentors kids in Dubois County has been charged with embezzling more than $156,000.

Court documents say 47-year-old Ellen Corn of Petersburg, Indiana, was the Executive Director for the Mentors for Youth from March 2017 through August 2022. During that time, police say she embezzled the money by using credit cards for the organization to pay for personal expenses without getting approval.

They say Corn also tried to hide her unauthorized purchases by not entering them into the accounting software. Investigators believe Corn used the money on goods and services bought through Amazon, Target, Walmart, and even used some of the money to make payments to colleges.

Corn is also accused of using the credit card to make electronic payments from the Mentors for Youth business PayPal account to her personal PayPal account. Once the money got to her PayPal account, she would transfer it to her own personal checking account.

If she is convicted of wire fraud, Corn could get up to 20 years in prison.

Mentors for Youth released a statement Tuesday morning:

For 35 years, Mentors for Youth, formerly Big Brothers Big Sisters, has served a vital purpose in Dubois County. Our mission to facilitate relationships between local youth and caring adults has positively impacted innumerable individuals in this community. As we process the news of the arrest of our former director, we remain focused on this mission. Though deeply saddened by the actions of this individual, we are grateful for the members of both our local and federal law enforcement for their time and dedication to this investigation. We are also incredibly thankful for all the local partner organizations and community members that assisted us in becoming a stronger agency. Since uncovering this issue, we have worked hard to make substantive changes to ensure our policies and procedures will prevent this from occurring in the future. While our work in serving at-risk children was never compromised, we are genuinely sorry for any distress this may have caused. We will live up to our organization’s mission by ensuring transparency, accountability, and integrity. As we move forward, we are determined to support more youth in our community. Thank you for your steadfast support of our mission.