When she resigned as executive director of the Lincoln YWCA last February, Denise Scholl-Serrett said she did not want her past to harm the YWCA’s mission. Lincoln police say when she said that, it was too late. She had already stolen more than $32,000 from the YWCA.
Lincoln police arrested 42-year-old Scholl-Serrett this week after questioning her about money missing from the YWCA. She worked at the YWCA from December 1, 2011 until her resignation on February 1, 2013.
Among the allegations against her is that she wrote unauthorized checks written to cash for herself and family members, that she was paid expenses on a personal trip, she issued extra payroll checks to herself, paid personal membership dues to various organizations, made payments of personal court debts & settlements, covered her tuition for educational classes, and made credit or debit card purchases for food, alcohol, clothing, electronic devices, and fuel for her personal vehicle.
The total loss to the YWCA: $32,703.54
In addition, she allegedly used a former executive director’s signature stamp to sign several checks for accounts to which she had no access.
Police say she claimed that numerous payroll checks and card transactions were mistakes on her part or that she obtained permission to use YWCA funds for certain items. Numerous board members denied knowledge. Numerous other suspicious transactions are still being investigated.
When Scholl-Serrett left the YWCA, she was preparing to be sentenced for similar crimes in Omaha. She was vice president of DEI Communities, an Omaha property management company, from March 2007 until November 2009. An internal audit turned up more than $23,500 worth of unauthorized charges and bonuses. Court documents also say she forged a subordinate’s signature and used that person’s company credit card to buy two cell phones.
For that, she was placed on probation.