Cedar Falls woman accused of stealing from charity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls woman accused of stealing from charity

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

A Cedar Falls woman is being charged with theft after police say she was stealing from a small non-profit.

Jamie Padden is accused of stealing more than $6,000 from the Cedar Valley Gearhead Ministries over the span of four months.

If you've never heard of the group, their mission statement reads in part:

"Cedar Valley Gearhead Ministries is a non-profit organization serving Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa and surrounding communities. Our mission is to provide safe, reliable vehicles at no cost to those most in need in the Cedar Valley."

"This is a non-profit organization where people give their money to, and people trust they'll do the right thing. This organization truly did have this in mind, but you get the wrong employee in, and you'll get money going in places it wasn't intended to," says Cedar Falls Director of Safety Services Jeff Olson.

A criminal complaint states Jamie Padden stole more than $6,000 from the non-profit.

She admitted to it, stating she recently experienced personal financial hardships, and in effort to pay bills, she did use the non-profit's checkbook for personal gain.

According to the complain, Padden was their secretary.

"She worked handling a lot of their accounting, wrote checks, paid bills," says Olson.

Now, Padden is being charged with theft, and is released from jail pending a trial.

Gearhead's president told KWWL this is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, especially for people who rely on them. He says this won't stop his team from going forth with their mission, and they are seeking full restitution for their losses.

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