Manager gets prison for bilking $600K from Philly nonprofit for troubled kids

A longtime Northern Children's Services employee is charged with embezzling more than $600,000 from the agency devoted to helping poor children.

A former manager at a Northwest Philadelphia mental-health treatment facility has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison for embezzling more than $600,000 in funds meant to help troubled youth.

Sonja McQuillar, 50, was also ordered at her sentencing Tuesday in Philadelphia federal court to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $607,067 in restitution.

McQuillar, of New Castle, Del., admitted in February that she created phony invoices and forged signatures on checks to embezzle the funds from Northern Children’s Services, where she worked as the director of health and information.

She pleaded guilty charges of theft and making false statements to authorities, admitting that she stole money between December 2002 and April 2014.

The investigation was initiated by a tip to the Philadelphia Office of Inspector General. The nonprofit’s administrators discovered the financial improprieties in June 2014.

The agency, now located at 5301 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon section, was founded in 1853 as the Northern Home for Friendless Children. It provides behavioral and mental-health treatment services to children.