CFO of Education Nonprofit Charged with Embezzling Funds for Six Years

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced this week that his office has charged a man with two felony counts for embezzling over $150,000 from the nonprofit where he was employed as controller and chief financial officer.

James Ahrens was hired in 2012 by Partners in School Innovation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that serves schools and educators across the U.S.

Ahrens was responsible for all financial affairs of the organization and including all expenditures, said Boudin.

Between May 2012 and June 2018, Ahrens is alleged to have written checks to himself and made unauthorized withdrawals for personal gain.

Partners in School Innovation was founded in 1993 to help urban schools and school districts. The organization's website says that it has served "21 school districts in seven states spanning the coasts, the Midwest, and the South, benefiting more than one million students."

The non-profit says it “actively seeks to disrupt patterns of inequity in education by developing systems and structures that work effectively to close persistent achievement gaps based on race, class, and culture.”

Boudin said in a statement, "the violations in this case harmed the organization and its mission to help disadvantaged children succeed."

The organization in October 2019 received a $13.7 million grant from the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation to support its educational programs.


  1. In six years he embezzled $150K? These NGOs waste more than that monthly! ?. And what they don’t waste, they use ineffectively.

  2. A CFO of a nonprofit education organization has been charged with embezzling funds for six years. According to authorities, the CFO used the stolen money to buy expensive items and live a luxurious lifestyle. The nonprofit education organization is alleged to have been founded with the intent of providing scholarships for students who were not able to afford tuition fees.

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