SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Three employees have allegedly defrauded the YWCA of almost $30,000, according to the Springfield Police Department, all three people allegedly used grant money intended for victims of domestic violence, for personal expenses.

The Springfield Police announced Friday that an ongoing investigation into the misuse of $28,000 in YWCA grant money has led to the arrest of three alleged suspects from Springfield:

  • 40-year-old Aisha Pizarro
  • 35-year-old Sharifa Forbes
  • 47-year-old Patricia Medina

All alleged suspects are former employees of the YWCA and are charged with credit card theft over $1,200 and larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme.

Springfield Police Department spokesman Ryan Walsh, told 22News, “These are felonies when you’re talking about this much money in public dollars that were allegedly being misused, so we’re talking about money that meant for people in need – emergency assistance for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.”

A representative from the Department of Public Health first noticed a discrepancy in funds and notified the YWCA. According to Springfield Police, one of the alleged suspects, Aisha Pizarro, was the administrator of the funds for the western Massachusetts area. She did not attend a meeting to address the discrepancy but was seen on video entering and later leaving the YWCA after hours the night before carrying a box. She requested a leave of absence the following day.

Springfield Police say that Pizarro oversaw Forbes and Medina as part of her job, and in total it is alleged that the suspects fraudulently spent $28,797 to pay their own bills.

After arrest warrants were issued, police say Pizarro and Medina turned themselves in at Springfield District Court and Forbes was arrested after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Springfield police say they have notified the Attorney General’s Office about this case, which is still an ongoing investigation.