SAG investigating alleged misappropriation by former employee
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The Screen Actors Guild disclosed Sunday that it was investigating allegations of financial impropriety by a former manager who worked in the residuals estates and trusts department.
The guild declined to name the individual or how much money has gone missing, but a person familiar with the investigation said the alleged misappropriation was between $200,000 and $250,000.
The former manager, who was fired last month, worked in a department that attempts to distribute unallocated residual payments to the estates of deceased SAG members or members who can no longer be found. At any one time, SAG has more than $10 million in such undistributed funds.
Some SAG members have complained that the union has not been aggressive enough in distributing the funds, but SAG officials said the investigation was unrelated to any such complaints and was triggered by internal review.
‘When an internal review indicated a potential problem, the guild moved immediately to investigate and take appropriate action against the employee involved,’' SAG said in a statement. ‘Once this investigation is complete, we will work with local and federal law enforcement agencies on further actions to be taken as appropriate.’
The guild said its insurance would cover losses and fully reimburse the union for any missing funds. ‘Our members may rest assured that member funds are not at risk,’' SAG said.
SAG fired the former manager in November and senior executives informed the union’s national board in October that they were conducting an investigation into the matter with the help of an outside accounting firm.
-- Richard Verrier