ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix man accused of identity theft, fraud for embezzling from nonprofit

Mar 24, 2022, 3:45 PM

Tefere Rezene (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Tefere Rezene (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix man accused of embezzling nearly $55,000 from the nonprofit organization he worked for was arrested Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Tefere Rezene, 27, was taken into custody in Glendale by the Surprise Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service and booked on multiple felony charges, including identity theft and fraud.

Rezene was a director for Rise Services in Surprise from June 2020 to May 2021, according to court documents. The group, which operates in six states, provides support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

While working for Rise, Rezene allegedly used the identities of six former Rise employees to funnel money into a bank account he controlled.

“Fraud, embezzlement and identity theft cases can be extremely complex investigations,” Surprise Police Chief Benny Piña said in a press release.

“However, our team of investigative professionals will utilize every tool at their disposal to bring justice to those who have found themselves a victim of crime. Today’s arrest is a testament to that commitment.”

The investigation started after Rise discovered a fraud scheme during a July 2021 payroll audit.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)...

Danny Shapiro

East Valley teen beaten by brass knuckles says halt on possible weapon ban ‘disheartening’

An East Valley teen who was beaten in a 2022 brass knuckles attack and has pushed for a ban on the weapon in Arizona said he was told the Legislature won't take any action on it this session.

2 hours ago

Follow @iamdamonallred...

Damon Allred

Arizona Science Center’s Dorrance Planetarium to see ‘next-generation’ update

With the help of Cosm Technology, the Arizona Science Center is making a significant investment in its Dorrance Planetarium.

2 hours ago

Latin Music Festival will take place in Tolleson this weekend...

Serena O'Sullivan

Latin Music Festival to bring music, dances, games and food to Tolleson this weekend

The Latin Music Festival will fill Tolleson's streets with live music, dances, games, food and vendor booths this weekend.

2 hours ago

What Arizonans should know when traveling this spring break...

Serena O'Sullivan

Here’s what Arizonans should know when traveling this spring break

Arizonans who plan to hit the skies or book a cruise this spring break should prepare for a busy travel season, an AAA spokesperson said.

2 hours ago

An elderly woman with with white hair and a cane walks alongside a woman with blond hair in the hal...

Kevin Stone

West Valley assisted-living facility settles lawsuit over secrecy practices

A West Valley assisted-living facility has settled a lawsuit over secrecy clauses in its arbitration agreements, officials announced Tuesday.

10 hours ago

handcuffs seen in man's hands...

KTAR.com

3 suspects linked to South American organized crime groups indicted in Maricopa County

Three suspects connected with South American crime groups were indicted Tuesday in Maricopa County after allegedly attempting to break into a Phoenix home earlier this month.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Phoenix man accused of identity theft, fraud for embezzling from nonprofit