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Ex-Charity Chief Gets Probation in Theft Case

October 25, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Lorraine Hale, who headed the world famous Hale House shelter founded by her mother, was sentenced Thursday along with her husband to five years' probation for stealing from the charity.

The sentences for Hale, 76, and Jesse DeVore, 70, were part of a deal in which they pleaded guilty to reduced charges and promised to give back as much as they could of the $766,000 they were accused of embezzling.

Hale's lawyer, William Dowling, said the couple had returned about $125,000 to Hale House, everything they had.

"They are destitute," Dowling said, "They have no assets at all."

Hale and DeVore could have gotten 15 years in prison if convicted of all 72 charges.

Hale House was created 30 years ago by Clara "Mother" Hale amid Harlem's meanest streets as a refuge for the sick and abandoned babies of drug addicts and AIDS sufferers.

The charity attracted the support of thousands.

After her mother's death in 1992, Lorraine Hale became executive director. DeVore was public relations director.

After they were accused of pocketing donations and other money, Lorraine Hale was removed from the charity in 2001. A board of directors chaired by a former federal prosecutor now runs Hale House.

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