Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another Mainstream Grand Lodge Hit With Embezzlement


The Boston Herald reports on Saturday July 12, 2008 that up to $1.5 million has been embezzled from the coffers of The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

Acording to the Boston Hearald:

Meanwhile, Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s Securities Division is launching its own separate probe of the Grand Lodge’s finances, sending a letter of inquiry yesterday to giant financial house UBS for information on its business dealings with the ancient fraternal order, according to a source.

A law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the Suffolk probe told the Herald yesterday that members of the lodge discovered the financial irregularities and took their findings to authorities, who have in turn launched a criminal probe that is zeroing in on two Mason officials.

I would like to make two points in regards to this reoccurring problem across Mainstream Masonry.

1) Masonic Lodges have for ad infinitum refused to bring in outside professionals to run their complicated programs and financial processes. Hence many Grand Lodges have amateurs running giant Masonic Charity Programs, amateurs running Masonic Retirement Communities and amateurs running a multi million dollar end of the businesss of Grand Lodge finances. What qualifies these amateurs? They are Masons and they work cheaply. Many Grand Lodges are very wary of taking chances entrusting outside professionals with private information and dealings of Grand Lodge. Therefore to keep all that they do secrative and to save money they will appoint a Grand Lodge Officer or in house "expert" to perform the duties which would be much better and more safely be performed by an outside professional or a professional agency.

2) As you can see the government - the state of Massachusetts - is now involved in the investigation. Although they were asked in this does not mean that with future problems of another nature the state government would also not intervene and demand to see the records of Grand Lodge and documents and records it would always keep private.

So if a Grand Lodge was charged with racial discrimination and a complaint filed with EEOC it is my bet that the feds would be all over the private records and dealings of the Grand Lodge in question, never mind the negative publicity that would ensue.

Finally the Boston Herald article leaves us with this pleasant information:
The Suffolk and Galvin probes could prove to be yet another blow for area Masons, who several years ago were hit with a scandal involving former money-manager and radio-station owner Brad Bleidt. He was convicted of swindling tens of millions of dollars from area investment victims, many of them Masons.

Bleidt, who used to be a Mason, is now serving time at the federal prison in Fort Dix, N.J.

Moral of the story. Find a better way to screen out dishonrable people. See previous post BALLOT REFORM.


The Palmetto Bug said...

Your title implies that there is another GL that this has happened in. Can you provide more details?

Squire Bentley said...

Sure, look at the history of Oregon

Squire Bentley said...

Burning Taper

Maine Mason convicted of embezzling $430K from fraternal groups

Friday, November 30, 2007

A 76-year old "model citizen" of Portland, Maine has been sentenced to nine months in jail for embezzling at least $430,000 from his Masonic lodge, a Masonic temple board, a Masonic learning center and another fraternal organization of which he was a member, the Boston Globe reports.

Bro. Bob Libby's lawyer says he needed the money to take care of his sick wife. The money is now spent, and the Libby's are living on a small Social Security check.

His friend since high school, Jack Gray, discovered the crime, and says Bro. Libby is a "con artist."

Libby took money repeatedly between 1999 and 2006. His wife, Charlotte, didn't become ill until 2002, three years after Bro. Libby began embezzling the funds of the fraternal groups.

Bro. Libby's daughter, teacher Susan Jodice of South Windsor, Connecticut, told reporters, "We had absolutely no idea. It just blew us away. This is not a person that is a thief. I don't condone anything that he did. Not any of it. The funny thing is, he brought me up not to condone anything like that."

The website for Deering Lodge No. 183 lists Robert W. Libby as having served as Worshipful Master in 1970.

UPDATE, Friday, November 30: I was informed today by a past master of Deering Lodge that Bob Libby was expelled from the fraternity by the Grand Lodge of Maine in May, 2007.

T. Ron Dunce said...

say it aint so

my rose colored glasses are clearing up?

Magus Masonica said...

What a sad state of affairs.