Former Minneapolis Nonprofit Employee Charged with Felony Theft
Fifty-five-year-old Nicholas Collins of Minneapolis was the food service director for "Open Arms," a nonprofit organization that provides meals for those suffering from chronic diseases. It also partners with "Meals on Wheels" programs. Charges filed in Hennepin County say that Collins used his role to embezzle more than $150,000.
According to the criminal complaint, Collins told his bosses he was conducting a feasibility study on adding other programs to their list of partners. He said he was not offering any services. However, employees at "Open Arms" noticed more food was going out but no extra money was coming in. Investigators say Collins entered contracts with several programs and provided them meals from "Open Arms" but instead of paying "Open Arms," he allegedly pocketed the money.
"Open Arms" says they have not missed giving out a single meal because of the lost funds. They say records show the alleged crime spanned from April 2011 to January 2012.
Collins' next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 25. He is charged with felony theft by swindle. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told us he will personally oversee the case to try to ensure that Collins serves time for his alleged involvement.