The FBI and the Nevada attorney general have divvied up the workload in their joint investigation into Kathleen Vermillion’s use of charity funds, according to a source familiar with the probe.
The FBI is focusing on finances related to the Homeless Youth Foundation, which Vermillion established in 2008 to ensure the future financial security of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth while managing its assets and distributing funds to other nonprofits with similar goals.
According to investigators, two previous complaints had been filed against Vermillion, which “prompted them to take a closer look at everything,” the source said.
Details about who filed the complaints and with what law enforcement agencies were unavailable Tuesday.
The attorney general is tasked with auditing the partnership’s finances. Internal forensic audits of both charity organizations are ongoing, and the results of those are expected to be made public. A county audit found last month that funding provided by the county to the nonprofit was not subject to financial mismanagement under the 44-year-old Vermillion, who helped create the partnership in 2000.
It’s unclear why law enforcement chose to divide the investigative responsibilities that way. The joint investigation is focused on Vermillion’s finances, her roles in the charity and the foundation, and her former job as a Henderson City Council member.
Neither the FBI nor the attorney general’s office would confirm or deny an investigation exists, per department policies. Henderson officials said they have not been contacted by investigators.
A complaint filed against Vermillion with the attorney general’s office earlier this year by Arash Ghafoori, executive director of the partnership, alleges Vermillion used the foundation to take funds from the partnership and pay her salary, make political contributions and pay DMV expenses, among others.
Charity officials have expressed interest in dissolving the Homeless Youth Foundation because they say scholarships and endowment can be done in-house.
Vermillion has said she welcomes the investigation and denies any wrongdoing.
Vermillion was fired by the charity’s board of directors Jan. 26 .