Director alleged to have embezzled Hill women’s clinic out of existence indicted for wire fraud

It’s time for federal prosecutors to take their swing at Michelle “Mo” Malkin. The Seattle PI reported Thursday night that the director alleged to have embezzled Capitol Hill women’s health service Verbena out of existence in 2008 has been indicted on three counts of wire fraud. The indictment is embedded, below.


In 2011, a King County judge ruled that Malkin owed the shuttered clinic $80,000 in a lawsuit over the alleged thefts. Malkin’s attorney has since appealed that verdict. Federal prosecutors believe Malkin stole $120,000 from the nonprofit but people working at the clinic think the total could have been much higher. Here’s how 2008’s end came at Verbena, as reported by the Seattle Gay News:

According to court records, Malkin had written checks on Verbena’s account to herself, to fictitious consulting agencies she owned, and to her partner. She also wrote checks to Caesar’s Palace casino in Las Vegas. 

On May 11, Malkin was put on administrative leave. 

In all, Haack estimates that Verbena lost $500,000. 

The consequences for anyone associated with Verbena fiscal collapse were devastating. On May 13, Verbena’s entire staff was terminated. 

Opened in 1992, Verbena was a “provider of community health services and health education to lesbian and bisexual women, and transgender individuals,” according to court documents. It was located at 511 E Pike, home today to Kaladi Brothers and Gay City Health.

8 thoughts on “Director alleged to have embezzled Hill women’s clinic out of existence indicted for wire fraud

  1. Why has it taken so long for them to prosecute this woman? What a vile disgusting human being. It also seems like the board of directors should be partly held liable for these stolen funds as they had a legal responsibility to make sure that this type of fraud was either not possible or at the very least easily detected.

  2. The board was being lied to by Mo and she was giving us false documentation when asked for fiscal reports. It wasn’t until someone on the board examined financial records NOT provided by Mo that the truth was discovered. That board discovered the fraud; they should be held responsible for exposing it and doing the right thing, not financially punished for Mo’s lies.

  3. As far as I can tell, Michelle Malkin has not given her side of the story. In part because of the lawsuit. To call her a vile, disgusting human being based on one side of the story is…well, vile and disgusting. As with everything I am certain there is more to this story.

  4. In early late 2006, several staff went to the board with concerns, but to no avail. The board does have some culpability for what occurred.

  5. Sorry, but that’s not how nonprofits go FBM. When you take on the role of being on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization, you have the fiduciary responsibility of overseeing and managing the ED. YOU are the ED’s boss, not the other way around. You’re not on a board to just say how things should go. You’re on a board to demand documents from your ED when she doesn’t produce them.

    It’s a big responsibility, not to be taken lightly, that requires a great deal of follow thru, maturity and time. If any of those 3 things are missing, and it sounds like all of them were for this entire board, you need to not be board members in the first place.

    The fact that you are defending your actions like this, saying you should be given a reward for doing the absolute bare bottom minimum of your job, and blaming MM for what is rightly and legally uncontestedly your job, speaks to a great lack of maturity for you and after all this time, a great lack of research on your part. This town is full of people and schools you can talk to about what the role of a board member is, never mind just reading about it on the internet.

    I suggest you take this up and remove yourself from any sort of business activity you may currently be engaged in till you do. Start here: http://evans.uw.edu/ and here’s another: http://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/mpa/.

  6. Mo went out of her way to recruit first-time, inexperienced board members under the guise of “showing them the ropes”. I see now that she just wanted people on the board who wouldn’t necessarily know how to handle a situation like this. The day Verbena closed its doors, there was only one person to blame. It was a sad, day indeed. Still makes me sick to think about what that woman did.