Correction: A previous version of this story wrongly stated that the Parkinsons Association of Orange County is a chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation. This is not true. The PAOC is an independent group. CBS2 regrets the error.
IRVINE (CBSLA.com) – The former treasurer of the Parkinsons Association of Orange County is being charged with embezzling almost $290,000 from the non-profit foundation.
The Orange County District Attorney says 52-year-old Judith Woodhouse made unauthorized cash withdrawals and false financial reports to board members from 2008 to 2014.
CBS2/KCAL9 went to her Irvine home Friday night. A man neighbors identified as her husband answered the door but had no comment.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago, David Bunch is a facilitator for PAOC, an independent organization not connected to the National Parkinson Foundation. He prints out booklets and teaches those with Parkinson’s how to manage the disease. He says the money stolen directly impacts the chapter’s ability to spread the word like it needs to.
“It’s like stealing from a church, stealing from a blind person, it’s just not right,” he said.
Other members told us it takes money to not only spread awareness but also to fund the Parkinson’s O.C. Choir. The choir is still singing for now, in spite of the loss.
Woodhouse is in custody at the Orange County jail. She faces up to 42 years behind bars.