Woman with lengthy criminal past accused of stealing $30K from American Red Cross

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MILWAUKEE -- Money intended for families in need through the American Red Cross, allegedly was stolen by the very person appointed to help them with the funds. Red Cross officials tell police they first noticed something was wrong back in August. Karen Grayson had only been volunteering with the Red Cross for about a month -- now she faces felony theft charges.

Karen Grayson

Karen Grayson

Around $30,000 -- that's how much 50-year-old Karen Grayson is accused of stealing from the American Red Cross while she volunteered over the summer.

The criminal complaint is full of details, starting with how she's accused of getting the money through CAC cards, or client assistance cards, which are loadable debit cards meant to help clients with disaster-related needs.

Employees tell police, instead of going to Wisconsin people and families in need, that money went to Grayson. Some of the cards were used at ATM's, while others were used to make purchases -- in one case a Walmart in West Milwaukee.ATM

A Red Cross employee first noticed that several cards were missing from a locked cabinet inside the Milwaukee headquarters in August, which all were activated by Grayson.

This isn't Grayson's first run-in with the law. She has a lengthy criminal history, in fact she was just in Waukesha County Court Friday, for an identity theft charge -- another felony.

The American Red Cross says it did do a background check on Grayson, as it does with all their employees and volunteers, but she passed it by providing false information.

American Red Cross

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross released this statement in regards to the issue:

"The Red Cross is actively working with the Police Department and our Investigation, Compliance & Ethics team to support this investigation."

Red Cross officials say they can't go into specifics until the case has gone further into the legal system. The next step in that is in March, when Grayson is expected in course for this case.


  • Bruce

    A criminal background check will turn up any convictions. Of course she lied
    on the application. Charities would be wise to screen more carefully before the
    donations dry up.

  • Itsabouttime

    Well well 50 years old setting a great example you must feel pretty stupid now lady. Send her to clink!!!

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