'Where did the money go?' Questions raised following financial mismanagement report at Yonkers community center

The City of Yonkers announced earlier this week that it is taking over operations of the center after a report of apparent financial mismanagement at the center.

News 12 Staff

Apr 22, 2024, 1:54 AM

Updated 89 days ago

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City of Yonkers officials are asking what happened to the money that was supposed to support operations at the Nepperhan Community Center.
The City of Yonkers announced earlier this week that it is taking over operations of the center after a report of apparent financial mismanagement at the center.
"There've always been the unspoken whispers and rumors about mismanagement of money taking place here at the Nepperhan Community Center, but I don't think anyone understood the magnitude of what truly was going on inside this building," said Yonkers City Council President Lakisha Collins-Bellamy on Sunday.
She pointed to federal and New York state tax forms that all nonprofits must file.
A page shows the Nepperhan Community Center, Inc., received nearly $3 million in government grants in one year.
"From the years that I've posted, from 2016 into 2020, every year the Nepperhan Community Center was receiving well over $2 million in funds, and that's great, but now that we've realize the organition was being mismanaged, we're asking where did the money go?" Collins-Bellamy said.
With accusations of nonpayment of back taxes, $200,000 in back rent owed to the City of Yonkers, and failure to fully pay employees, the Barack Obama Foundation cut ties with the nonprofit organization.
The city's inspector general investigated, and the nonprofit's status changed.
Following a meeting on Saturday, a statement was issued, that reads in part, "We (former board members of Nepperhan Community Center, Inc.) regret to inform the Yonkers community that Nepperhan Community Center, Inc. is presently defunct... Nepperhan Community Center, Inc. technically still exists as a nonprofit, however it is hopelessly in debt, has no assets, has no income and no longer has a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status."
The City of Yonkers is calling for a further investigation by the state Attorney General's Office.
As the city prepares to take over the day-to-day operations of the center by early May, Collins-Bellamy swore that the building will continue to serve the city.
"I will not stand by and allow this building to be sold and the mayor is also committed to keeping these resources here in the community," she said.


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