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August 25, 2011

GALVESTON - A 33-year old account for the University of Texas Medical Branch, wanted for stealing over $75,000 from a nonprofit children's organization, has surrendered to Galveston County authorities.

Lauren Simon-Howell, who officials say manipulated bank deposits diverting cash from The Rainbow Connection's account to her personal use, reportedly posted a $150,000.00 bond and was released shortly after being booked into the county jail.

The Rainbow Connection isn't affiliated with the medical branch, but the nonprofit organization is comprised of volunteers employed by the hospital who provide activities, such as a summer camp for children with cancer and blood disorders.

Simon-Howell, then the organization's treasurer, withdrew $56,240 in cash from The Rainbow Connection's bank account between Oct. 28, 2009, and July 18, the affidavit states. The remainder of the $75,180 theft includes accusations Simon received cash back when making deposits between Nov. 4, 2009, and July 15, the affidavit states.

Galveston Police Detective Dion Watson said she and her husband were losing their house and there were medical bills, and she didn't know what else to do.

Galveston County Prosecutor Elizabeth Cuchens authorized an enhancement to the theft charge, making it a second-degree felony, because The Rainbow Connection is a nonprofit organization, according to detective Watson.

Breck Porter
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And they wonder why people are hesitant to give to charities these days! There's no way to get that money disgusting!
Posted by Mwilson at 8/25/2011 4:26:49 PM

I Never give money to any organization. If you want money I give it directly to the people how need it It's sad that I do it this way , But I work to hard to just open my check book for the unkown. And it is sad that people have to stup that low to steal money. I have bills also. If she is guilty jail my help her . She is a bad seed for the rest of the group.
Posted by maddog at 8/26/2011 5:42:00 PM

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