Police arrested a local couple Tuesday after a Davidson County grand jury indicted them on charges of stealing more than $700,000 from the American Association for State and Local History, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization.
Risa Woodward, 45, and her husband James Woodward, 48, both of Hendersonville, are charged with felony counts of theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, forgery and identity theft.
Risa Woodward had worked as the finance director at the AASLH since 1994, according to the organization’s website. In addition to stealing funds from the nonprofit, she is also accused of stealing the identity of AASLH CEO Terry Davis.
“The shock and sense of betrayal, the hurt and anger have been palpable,” AASLH council chair Stephen Elliott wrote in a statement posted to the organization's website on Tuesday.
Elliott said the AASLH discovered “alarming financial irregularities” last September. The statement claims the Woodwards conspired to steal $730,315 from the organization.
Risa Woodward's bond was set at $500,000 and James Woodward's bond is $250,000. Both were arrested Tuesday morning.
The AASLH has a membership of roughly 6,000 historians and history-based organizations nationwide, including clients such as Colonial Williamsburg and the Smithsonian Institute, according to its website.