Local man charged with stealing from charity

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Shelby County man was arrested Nov. 5 and charged with stealing more than $24,000 from a Birmingham charity.

David Graves, who helped establish and was the treasurer of the Lorie Johnson Charitable Trust until July, was arrested by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and charged with three counts of forgery and one count of theft of property.

The arrest came a few months after one of the charity’s board members contacted deputies and voiced concerns over a large amount of money missing from the charity’s fund, according to a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department press release.

“The board member became suspicious of the suspect after repeated requests for statements and account balances, viewing records from the bank, and after an audit revealed an unaccounted shortage,” read the press release.

Graves helped Lorie Johnson establish the trust last year to help defer Johnson’s cancer-treatment costs. Johnson died earlier this year.

“After questioning by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Investigators, Graves eventually confessed to the thefts, and was subsequently arrested,” read the release.

As of Nov. 11, Graves had been released on a $75,000 bond.