Orchid Society treasurer charged with embezzling

A man who served as treasurer for a San Francisco nonprofit has been charged with embezzlement for allegedly taking more than $100,000 from the organization, prosecutors announced today.

Jack Ryder was arraigned this morning on multiple counts of felony embezzlement.

According to the district attorney’s office, Ryder served as treasurer for the San Francisco Orchid Society from 2015 to 2017 after being elected to the position in 2014.

Witnesses alleged that Ryder took the money from the organization’s bank accounts in the form of cash withdrawals for his own personal use, prosecutors said.

“Organizations like the San Francisco Orchid Society depend on charitable donations from the community,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. “When their leaders steal from them, they betray the public’s trust and compromise the valuable services these organizations provide for the community.”

The San Francisco Orchid Society is known for putting on the annual Pacific Orchid Exposition in Golden Gate Park, the largest orchid festival in the U.S., now in its 66th year.

The investigation into the alleged embezzlement was conducted by the San Francisco Police Department’s Financial Crimes Bureau.

Ryder’s attorney Erica Franklin did not want to comment.

-Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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