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Mentoring Org Will Pay $1.6M for Grant Claims

(CN) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of America will pay $1.6 million to settle accusations that it mishandled federal grant money, the government said.

The U.S. Department of Justice said the nonprofit allegedly violated federal regulations for three grants awarded between 2009 and 2011 by commingling grant money with its general operating fund.

Big Brothers Big Sisters was also accused of not segregating expenditures to show that the grant money was used as intended, and not keeping internal financial controls to safeguard the funds.

A 2013 audit documented the allegations. Since that time, the youth mentoring organization has replaced its management team and started implementing policies to correct its grant management and accounting, according to the Justice Department.

In addition to the settlement payment, Big Brothers Big Sisters also agreed to a compliance program involving regular audits, discipline for employees who misuse grant money, and the establishment of an employee code of conduct and whistleblower policies.

Since 2004, the organization has received millions of dollars in federal grants to support at-risk children, the government said.

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