Former Nashville nonprofit director indicted on fraud charges

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The former director of a Nashville non-profit was indicted for defrauding the state of grant money.

According to a release, the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office says Director Julia Armstrong of Phases, Inc. stole money by submitting false claims for services that were not provided. Phases, Inc. was a nonprofit organization that offered transitional housing and support for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and received grant money from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS). MHSAS reportedly tried to schedule an onsite visit but learned the nonprofit ceased operations in 2018.

Officials say Armstrong made at least 135 false entries for services between April 2017 and June 2018, stealing at least $6,260. Those false services were claimed to be provided to clients who were incarcerated at the time and unable to receive them.

Investigators with the Comptroller’s Office say she also made more than 100 questionable payments, including withdrawals and purchases at liquor stores, restaurants, and car washes. Many of those payments reportedly happened in Kentucky and Florida.

In October 2021, Armstrong was indicted on one count of theft, one count of forgery, and one count of computer theft by fraud.

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