BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A Bossier Parish non-profit is now still tax exempt following the arrest of its executive director — and the organization is still eligible to receive donations.
Brenda Hill, executive director of Women of Diversity Ministries, was arrested in August for allegedly pocketing donations to the organization for personal gain, reaching hundreds of thousands.
After the Bossier Parish sheriff received several calls from curious donors, deputies investigated and stepped in. The closed the organization down and arrested Hill and her husband, Jimmie Hill, on more than 100 counts of monetary instrument abuse, theft, and money laundering.
However, months later the IRS still shows the group can actively accept donations because it still holds an exempt status.
An IRS spokesperson said someone would have to report any illegal activity to their "exam branch" before they would investigate the matter. Meaning if someone were to check to see if Women of Diversity Ministries was a legitimate organization to give donations to it would still look active online.
Dozens of people were affected by the closure of Women of Diversity, with people living in the old Budgetel hotel in Bossier City. Families and residents were dispersed to shelters available at that time.
While the two still sit in jail her organization still shows that it is active online — the 501 C non-profit organization has a current exempt status with the IRS. Anyone could still make a donation to the group.
The Hills both have a long list of charges that span across two states. Brenda Hill was already on parole for white-collar crimes in Caddo Parish. She was arrested for similar thefts in Dallas while using the same non-profit organization's name as well.
Lt. Shannon Mack with the Bossier Parish Sheriff's office said kind-hearted people started to question Hill's intentions when the money they started donating to her organization began to disappear.
Hill was reportedly spending those donations for personal use.
"Paying bills, buying a truck, paying their rent, paying their cell phone bills, paying their electricity, buying high dollar brand name purses and doing it out of that non-profit account," Mack said.
While this was reportedly happening for several months, the bills to keep the organization going were not being paid. Payments for the utilities at the Budgetel Inn and Suites in Bossier City, the site where Women of Diversity was being run, were months behind.
"There have been people who gave significant amounts of money," Mack said. "One in particular who gave money to keep the lights on - when I say significant amount it would've kept them on – and they were thousands of dollars behind."
Bob Mosley own the property where Women of Diversity Ministries once operated. What he thought would be a good investment while helping his community turned out to be a bust.
"I just wanted to help rehab those people coming out of jail. because if they get back on the streets they'll be back in jail," Mosley said.
The organization that helps people get back on their feet after being incarcerated or similar situations was actually doing great things for many people in the community. What Hill was doing behind the scenes with donations was the non-profits downfall.