DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Dr. Evelyn Idell Bethune, the granddaughter of Bethune-Cookman University founder Mary McLeod Bethune, stole more than $23,000 from a nonprofit that helps students and spent the money on personal items, police say.

  • Evelyn Bethune arrested, charged with fraud, grand theft
  • She's the granddaughter of B-CU founder Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Police say she stole from nonprofit that helps students

Evelyn Bethune, 66, of Daytona Beach has been charged with three felonies, including scheme to defraud and grand theft.

According to Daytona Beach Police charging affidavit, the president of the National League of American Pen Women came to police in February to report an embezzlement that involved Bethune, who was elected treasurer of the Daytona Beach chapter.

The embezzlement began in mid 2016, she said.

According to the president, Bethune had various bank accounts, but Bethune had all funds be transferred to a Fifth Third Bank account in Daytona Beach.

Investigators subpoenaed the bank for records of transactions into that account.

They said they found that thousands of dollars that were meant for NLAPW business were instead spent by Bethune, out of the Fifth Third Bank account, for items such as restaurants, nail salons, doctor bills, a florist and gasoline, among other personal purchases. There were also multiple overdraft fees, investigators said.

Per the NLAPW's bylaws, all bank accounts must have two signatures, and money spent that's associated with the group must be approved, both of which did not happen, police say.

A total of $23,134.84 was stolen from both the Daytona Beach and national chapters of the NLAPW, police say.

"The NLAPW's Daytona Beach chapter was on the verge of shutting their chapter down due to all their funds being depleted by Evelyn Bethune," the police affidavit reads.