Founder of Non-profit Caught Stealing $150K in Pandemic Aid

( – On March 5, the FBI arrested the founder of the nonprofit Casa Ruby, Inc., at a hotel in Laurel, Maryland, two years after Ruby Corado, 53, fled to El Salvador amid questions about the nonprofit’s finances. She was arrested after she unexpectedly returned to the United States.

Authorities allege Corado diverted pandemic emergency relief funds intended for Casa Ruby, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that was serving homeless LGBTQ+ youths, to private El Salvador bank accounts. Amid an investigation into the financial irregularities in 2022, Corado sold her house in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and fled to El Salvador. The nonprofit ceased its operations in July 2022 after failing to pay employees and was also facing evictions for failure to pay rent at multiple properties.

Court documents show that Corado transferred at least $150,000 of $1.3 million in pandemic-related assistance funds to the private offshore bank accounts, hiding it from the IRS. During her appearance in the U.S. District Court on March 6, Corado was charged with money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, defrauding the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection programs, and failure to file a report of a foreign bank account, among other charges.

Founded in 2012, the nonprofit, which focused on Latin transgender people, ran a drop-in center and a 50-bed emergency housing program across seven locations and had a satellite office in El Salvador. The nonprofit had an annual revenue of almost $3.5 million by 2019 and close to $4.2 million in annual revenue by 2020. City agencies awarded $9.6 million in grants to Casa Ruby between 2016 and 2022, during which time Corado earned $260,000.

According to a report from The Washington Post, a court-appointed receiver is also suing the board of Casa Ruby. The lawsuit alleges that the board did not provide oversight, which allowed Corado, without board approval, to allegedly embezzle over $800,000 and open an office in El Salvador.

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