Trustee for people with disabilities stole $625,000

The business manager of a former Seattle nonprofit faces up to five years in prison for stealing money from people with disabilities.

Charles P. Allen ran day to day operations at People Helping People of King County, a Burien-based nonprofit that acted as a trustee for 580 people with disabilities in need of assistance managing their money, in exchange for a monthly fee of $33 to $37.

Between January 2006 and March 2010, he allegedly stole $625,000 for “personal items, personal activities and excessive and inappropriate (People Helping People) business expenses,” according to an article in the Seattle PI.

“(He) knew that the intended beneficiaries of the stolen (Social Security) funds were particularly vulnerable victims because of their disabling mental impairments and other disabilities, or their advanced age or youth,” according to a plea agreement signed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle on Dec. 4.

“(He) knew that these beneficiaries had no friends or relatives who were suitable to serve as their representative payees, which necessitated (the government’s) appointment of (People Helping People) … for these vulnerable individuals.”

When the nonprofit suddenly closed in March 2010, it left a sign outside its business telling clients to contact the Social Security Administration to recover their depleted accounts, prompting outrage by its clients, according to a story by KOMO news.

Allen is scheduled for sentencing on April 29.