Councilwoman hints ‘criminal’ acts may explain Enrichmond’s missing funds

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 7/21/2022, 6 p.m.
Where’s the money?
Ms. Lynch

Where’s the money?

That’s the question that dozens of organizations are asking as a result of the shutdown of the Enrichmond Foundation, which held their money.

An estimated $121,000 that Enrichmond held for groups like the Friends of the Pump House and Richmond Community Gardens appears to be lost, according to Reginald E. Gordon, Richmond’s deputy chief adminis- trative officer for human services.

Fifth District City Councilwoman Stephanie A. Lynch, chair of the Education and Human Services Committee, said “there may very well be criminal activity” involved in the disappearance of the funds.

Instead of just seeking an audit, she now plans to meet Friday, July 22, with several officials to determine the next step. The officials are to include City Auditor Louis Lassiter, City Inspector General James Osuna and Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette W. McEachin, Ms. Lynch indicated.

Ms. Lynch set up the meeting following a request from Mr. Lassiter and 4th District Councilwoman Kristen M. Nye.

The Free Press first reported the collapse of the foundation on June 30; an attorney for the foundation then publicly disclosed that the foundation’s board voted to dissolve the 32-year-old organization because the bank account was depleted.

The organization, which is independent of the city, was established to provide nonprofit status for community groups that seek to support parks and recreation by serving as a recipient for any grants or donations.

Enrichmond, in recent years, also acquired two historic Black cemeteries, East End and Evergreen.

Under the Enrichmond corporation articles, the foundation’s dissolution means any remaining assets, including the cemeteries, are to be turned over to the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.