Police have charged Brisbane charity Street Swags founder Jean Madden with one count of fraud on Tuesday.
Madden was sacked from the charitable institution earlier in 2016 because of retaining more than expected funds in her bank account. She was charged with undertaking fraudulent deeds through unauthorized access to the charity’s website, emails as well as bank account during the weekend. Madden attended the Indooroopilly police station on Tuesday for an interrogation, after which she got arrested. However, she has been released on bail to attend the Brisbane Magistrates Court in August.
Police took her to Brisbane watch-house while she sat on the back of a police car. They confirmed that an Upper Brookfield woman, 36, has been charged with one count of “dishonestly causing detriment” to charity materials. Madden denied all allegations and posted a YouTube video in which she said that she was waiting for the accounts to be audited to find out the truth.
“Street Swags VISA debit card in my name was used for company running costs. To have racked up $170,000 worth, that would have to be at least five years’ worth. As a charity, we get audited every year, so have these transactions,” she said in the video. “To have misappropriated $441,000, which is what I’m accused of, is physically impossible because it’s more than the total expenditure for the entire organization.”
Top 5 Facts about Jean Madden
- She is the 2010 Australian Young Queenslander of the Year.
- She founded Street Swags charity, but the recovery of more than expected funds in the store prompted her resignation in early 2016.
- Madden received the Innovation award at the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards held in Queensland.
- She was considered a strong supporter of women empowerment, especially in the corporate arena.
- She is the mother of two.
Courier Mail reported that on Sunday, Street Swags directors learnt about what Madden had done. They were compelled to inform people that they were undertaking an investigation to find out the truth. As a result, they posted a message on Facebook in which the charity people claimed that media reports stating that the charity has stopped working were untrue.