Embezzlement charges against SC nonprofit director

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The head of a nonprofit group that fights spousal abuse on the Grand Strand has been charged with embezzling federal funds.

But the Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports (http://bit.ly/MF3EJ2 ) the chairwoman of the Citizens Against Spousal Abuse board says there was no criminal intent and no money was stolen.

Authorities say the group's executive director, 55-year-old JoAnne Patterson of Myrtle Beach, was charged Tuesday with embezzlement. It was unclear if she has a lawyer.

The case centers on a $32,000 federal grant to buy vans.

Board chairwoman Sissy Rutherford says while the money should have been used for vans, it was used to keep open the doors of a Georgetown safe house for battered women. Rutherford says all the money went to keep the shelter open and pay staff.

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Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/

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