Randall Morrison, the former treasurer for a branch of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, is on trial for stealing $142,000 from the organization's children and their families, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
The money was stolen from the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise, a Seattle-based arm of the charity, which provides an annual evening of entertainment to ill children and their families. The theft was so steep, it has jeopardized the program's future.
"This is an awful thing that's happened to us," Steve Lamson, founder of the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise, told KirklandReporter.com. "He took all our money."
Embezzlement accusations surfaced after Morrison, 50, had left the company. He later admitted to stealing the money, and is now on trial and faces 27 months in prison. On Monday, Morrison's lawyer withdrew from the case, and a new trial date has not yet been set, according to the Intelligencer.
Other sources say Morrison could be slapped with harsher penalties, with up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, the Daily Mail reports.
"Mr. Morrison's insatiable desire for money is inexcusable," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Masada told the court. "While the defendant was fixated on improving his already high standard of living, the true victims of his crime were consumed with the fragility of life itself."
Lisa Haistings, the president of the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise told KirklandReporter.com that Morrison "took the majority of the money we had," and hopes new donations will help restore what the charity lost.
Donations for the Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cruise can be made here.
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