Ex-library foundation director charged with stealing more than 2 - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Ex-library foundation director charged with stealing more than 20K from the library

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BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) - Ex-library foundation director charged with stealing more than 20K from the library

She was supposed to spend library foundation money on adult and teen programs, but police believe Anita Foster-Machado spent thousands on herself.

Foster-Machado is the former executive director of the Bristol Public Library Foundation, an organization that helps support library programs.

Bristol, Va. police arrested her on embezzlement charges Wednesday night.

Meanwhile at the Bristol Public Library, tucked away in a quiet reading room is Frances Walker.

"I check out books, I do stuff on the computer," Walker said.

She's remained a regular here, "forever it seems like. This is one of my favorite hideouts"

It's a place where borrowing what isn't yours is encouraged.

But police say the woman in charge of the library's foundation crossed the line, taking more than $20,000 from the foundation and never returning it. Something Jud Barry, the library's executive director called regrettable.

"The money would have been used by library programs,” Barry said. “We have an adult learning lab, a teen program those kinds of things."

"It hurts all of us that are in the public eye like this so you really take it personally,” Bristol Police Detective Robin McCoy said.

Police said questionable credit card transactions began in 2009 and continued until Foster-Machado was laid off in mid-June of 2013.

She was previously in charge of a $1.2 million grant that dried up last year, forcing all library foundation employees out of a job.

Police say the grant money she was responsible for ran out in part due to her personal spending sprees.

Investigators say she spent the library's money on clothing, jewelry and make-up at places like Shoezies, Belk, and Mary Kay. They say she even bought a tanning packing at Electric Sun.

"There was actually some transactions for makeup that were well over 400 or 500 dollars at one time," McCoy said.

So how did she allegedly get away with it for so long?

Police say Foster-Machado was the only one to review the credit card statements. That has since changed.

"It will not happen as long as the library is overseeing the books," Barry said.

And as for that missing money?

"She'll definitely have to repay at least what we could prove that she did spend that wasn't for the library," McCoy said.

Back in Walker's quiet hideout, she shares her disgust loud and clear.

"It's wrong, it's wrong. Personal money should be used for personal items like make-up and shoes and gym memberships and whatever. Foundation money should be used for the foundation," Walker said.

Copyright 2014 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.


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