BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Board members of two Brooklyn non-profits are accused of evicting young mothers from housing services and stealing thousands of dollars from a charity bank account, state officials said.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a lawsuit Thursday against the board of directors for Brooklyn Child & Family Services, Inc. and Project Teen Aid Housing Development Fund Corp., alleging mismanagement and illegal attempts to sell two townhouses they operated.
The nonprofits headed the Rose F. Kennedy Family Center and Rosa Parks Apartments in Bed-Stuy, which provided housing and services for pregnant women and young mothers, according to officials.
A February investigation found that the organizations evicted residents at 178 Halsey St. and 243 Hancock under the board’s direction in 2013. The group also attempted to market the buildings for private sale, the Attorney General’s office said.
The sales listings did not receive required approval from the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau or a state court.
“There is simply no excuse for a charitable board using its organizations’ valuable assets for the personal gain of board members,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“We will continue to hold New York’s entire nonprofit sector to its responsibilities, especially when those obligations are to underprivileged families.”
Members are also accused of failing to pay employee wages, taking out high-fee loans with forged signatures and taking $80,000 from a charitable bank account and placing it into the personal account of financial manager Gene Baynes.
A temporary restraining order granted this week freezes the nonprofits’ assets, officials said. The lawsuit also asks the court to remove the board of directors and put interim managers in place.
It is unclear whether the two organizations are still operational pending the investigation.
Along with Baynes, whose financial planning certification was revoked in 2010, the state is suing directors and officers Thomas McKinney and Amuel Renard Hilliard; vice-chair of both boards Vivian Munsey-Thomasson and Chicago resident Reggie Wells.