Thefts caused collapse of local Habitat for Humanity

The former Treasurer of the nowdefunct Southside Habitat for Humanity is accused of stealing more than $30,000 from the non-profit housing ministry.

A Nottoway grand jury last Tuesday, Sept. 5th, indicted Renee M. Murphy-Clark, 48, of Lawrenceville, on 54 counts of felony Embezzlement ($200 or more). Ms. Clark formerly lived in Blackstone on Cole Harbor Road.

According to Nottoway Commonwealth’s Attorney Terry Royall, it’s believed that Ms. Murphy-Clark stole approximately $31,000 between Jan. 2014 and July 2015.

In a press release, Mrs. Royall says that approximately $20,000 was in the form of Southside Habitat checks made payable to, and signed by, Ms. Murphy Clark.

Mrs. Royall says another $7,000 came in the form of Southside Habitat checks made payable to “Cash” and signed by Ms. Murphy-Clark; and another $4,000 was for payment of personal expenses, including airfare, for Ms Murphy-Clark and paid for by the chapter’s debit card.

“None of those checks or debit transactions were for Southside Habitat expenses,” Mrs. Royall said, “and none were approved by the Southside Habitat For Humanity” Board of Directors.

Ms. Murphy Clark’s alleged thefts are said to have caused the collapse of the Southside Habitat chapter, which originally operated as Nottoway Habitat for Humanity. The chapter’s seven local homes reportedly have been deeded to the Farmville Habitat for Humanity. Southside Habitat reportedly received reimbursement for all of the missing funds through its insurance coverage, according to one Habitat volunteer.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Ms. Murphy-Clark has retained attorney Khalil Latiff of Farmville to represent her.

At presstime she remained at Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, where she has been held without bond since her arrest last week.

Thefts caused collapse of local Habitat for Humanity

Blackstone Courier Record

111 Maple St.

Blackstone, VA 23824

(434) 292-3019