Opera Carolina Accuses Ex-Staffer of Theft

Classic Arts News   Opera Carolina Accuses Ex-Staffer of Theft
A former finance director at Opera Carolina has been accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from the company, the Charlotte Observer reports.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report filed January 17 didn't name the staffer it accused of misappropriating $48,000, but officials have confirmed that she is Mary Lopes, who resigned as finance chief last autumn.

According to the report, Lopes is accused of shopping with an Opera Carolina credit card and using $25,000 from the opera's Bank of America account to buy a Toyota automobile.

Suspicions were aroused when Lopes's replacement noticed that the financial records were "in disarray." The last audit covered finances through June 2004, suggesting the suspected theft took place after that time. The company expects the missing money to be reimbursed by insurance, and said that the theft had not affected its operations.

The case is being investigated by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. As of Tuesday night, reports the Observer, Lopes had not been charged.

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