The former executive director of a charity run by Delta Sigma Theta, a century-old sorority whose notable members include Roberta Flack and Betty Shabazz, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for embezzling nearly a quarter of a million dollars of the group.
Jeanine Henderson Arnett, 44, and her husband Diallo Arnett, 47, pleaded guilty earlier this year to using the association’s credit cards to pay for rental cars, clothing purchases and purchases on Amazon .com. The two men were also accused of transferring the association’s money directly to their own bank account.
In total, the couple embezzled $ 228,000 from 2017 to 2019, prosecutors said. Jeanine Arnett, who originally joined Delta Sigma Theta as an undergraduate student at Syracuse University, was fired when the sorority discovered the missing money.
Diallo Arnett was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison. The couple were also ordered to give up $ 228,000 in assets and pay an additional $ 228,000 in restitution.
Jeanine Arnett’s attorney, Kevin McCants, said his client was remorseful and “vowed to return in full.”
âShe still has a lot of respect for Delta Sigma Theta,â he said.
A lawyer for Diallo Arnett did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
An academic institution
The sorority, which was founded in 1913 at Howard University, has long been a highly regarded institution in black academic life. The sorority has over 1,000 collegiate and alumni chapters, and its membership includes figures from former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch to soul legend Aretha Franklin.
Washington, DC-based Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. charity focuses on providing food aid to hungry people and support for victims of domestic violence, as well as providing scholarships. and other student support.
Phone calls to the sorority went unanswered on Wednesday as the group’s office closed early for Thanksgiving.
In court records, the Arnetts said they have been struggling financially since 2014, when Diallo Arnett was diagnosed with severe kidney disease and was unable to continue working. He received a kidney transplant last year.
Jeanine Arnett said her husband started using his company’s credit cards to cover costs and they intended to pay the money back, but the debt quickly got out of hand.