The Tacoma Rescue Mission did not suffer financial damages as a result of a fraud scheme that used the mission’s accounts to siphon money from Northwest Commercial Bank.
The bank made the mission whole when allegations came to light that one of its loan officers had used the mission’s accounts to divert as much as $1.3 million to 14 people and businesses, said David Curry, the mission’s executive director.
“Northwest Commercial Bank, with whom we have a good relationship, immediately took care of the accounts that were breached and restored them to their original balance,” Curry said in a message posted on the mission’s website Thursday. “The accounts were then closed.
“To my knowledge they have take care of the gaps in their security systems that allowed this to happen, and certainly they were victimized by this fraud more than the Rescue Mission, and we support them.”
The mission is a nonprofit organization that supplies housing, food and other programs to Pierce County’s homeless population.
Northwest Commercial is cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of former loan officer Jeffrey Goodell, Quinn Zander-Conn, the bank’s chief financial officer, said Thursday.
“We hope for a swift and successful prosecution of Mr. Goodell,” Zander-Conn said.
He declined to comment further, citing customer privacy policies and the ongoing criminal investigation.
Goodell is to appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday to plead guilty to bank fraud. His lawyer, Michael Clark of Tacoma, declined to comment Thursday.
Allegations that Goodell was defrauding Northwest Commercial Bank using the mission’s accounts came to light in December 2010, according to court records, although federal prosecutors did not charge him until last week.
In August 2010, the mission opened a $500,000 money market account with the bank and two lines of credit, one for $500,000 and one for $100,000, court records show.
Curry said the mission was in the final stages of completing its Adams Street Family Center “and opened a line of credit for use in the event that it was needed to complete that project.”
The family center is a shelter that houses 36 homeless families.
The mission never used the lines of credit but was expecting statements from the bank nonetheless, he said. Mission officials contacted Goodell regarding the statements, and “he sent a document that had the look and feel of the real documents, but it was not the statement we were looking for,” Curry said.
The mission continued to press for a statement and finally spoke to the bank’s vice president, he said. That’s when Goodell’s alleged fraud was uncovered.
Federal prosecutors allege Goodell and others conspired to withdraw money from the mission’s accounts and diverted it to other people and businesses, records show. Goodell required some of the people who got the money to repay it, the records state.
Goodell allegedly falsified records and lied to his bosses to cover up what he was doing.
Which people and businesses benefit from the fraud remained unclear Thursday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Arlen Storm, who is prosecuting Goodell, declined to comment on the case beyond what’s been reported in charging papers, which do not spell out where the money went.
Storm also declined to say whether anyone else will be charged in the case.
Curry encouraged patrons of the mission to forgive Goodell.
“While it’s a shame that someone would seek to harm the Rescue Mission during the holiday season when we most need help to do our work, it would do any good to carry bitterness,” he said.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644