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The Dartmouth
February 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Former Listen executive director indicted for embezzlement

Kyle Fisher, who embezzled more than $230,000 from the Upper Valley charity, was indicted on May 10.

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On May 10, former Listen Community Services executive director Kyle Fisher was indicted for embezzling more than $230,000 from the charity, according to a press release from the New Hampshire U.S. District Attorney. 

Between February 2021 and September 2022, Fisher transferred funds from the Listen PayPal account to his personal bank account and wrote unauthorized checks to himself, the press release continued. According to the indictment, Fisher used the money on “personal expenses, primarily gambling at the MGM Casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.”

Fisher has been indicted on four counts of wire fraud and is scheduled to appear in federal court at a later date. The charge of wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000, or “twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater,” the press release stated.

The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with valuable assistance from the Lebanon Police Department, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire. Alexander Chen, an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire, will prosecute the case, according to the office. 

Listen treasurer Richard Green, who served as the charity’s interim director from mid-September 2022 to mid-March 2023, wrote in an email statement that Listen can afford to continue to operate despite Fisher’s transgressions. 

“Thanks to our many supporters and our thrift store operations, Listen’s finances continue to be strong,” Green wrote. “Although the amount taken is significant, it did not affect or impair our programs, operations or future plans. We have taken steps to recover the funds.”

Fisher served as Listen’s executive director from July 2016 to September 2022, when he was placed on leave after the Listen Board of Directors found unusual activity in their financial accounts, according to Green. He was first hired as a volunteer coordinator in April 2013, before he was promoted to administrative director in March 2014, Green added. Fisher — who previously lived in Grantham, New Hampshire — has since moved to Holly Springs, North Carolina, according to the press release.

On March 13, Listen appointed Rob Roy McGregor of Canaan, New Hampshire, as its new executive director, Green wrote. McGregor previously served with the Young Men’s Christian Association and YMCA International for 30 years — including 19 years as President and CEO of the Southern District YMCA in Exeter, New Hampshire, according to Listen’s website.

“Rob has deep experience in nonprofit management and extensive knowledge of thrift store operations,” Green wrote. “His great-grandfather founded Goodwill and he’s on the Board of Goodwill of New England.”

Students, many of whom have shopped at Listen’s thrift store, said they were disappointed to learn about Fisher’s embezzlement. Mikaela Browning ’26 said she was “super sad” to hear the news, calling it  “totally the opposite of the spirit of a thrift store.” Wynn Johnson ’26 felt similarly, noting that Fisher’s actions are “like stealing from your community.” 

“You’re just actually taking resources out of a place that’s supposed to be helping the community,” Wynn said. “I feel like for a lot of college students, it’s more of a trend to [thrift]. But for a lot of people, it’s super important, and it’s how they’re able to get clothing. I think it’s really important to have second-hand clothing shops and thrift stores in the area.”

According to Listen’s website, the nonprofit aims to “provide services and support to meet the critical needs of Upper Valley individuals and families.” Green added that the organization offers crisis intervention services, electricity and eviction avoidance, financial assistance for heating fuel, food at the Food Pantry and Community Dining Hall, scholarships to summer camps and “help with accessing other programs offering vital services to the community.”

Green wrote that Listen will continue its program and thrift store activities, and “will soon embark on a new strategic plan to enhance our ability to provide help to our neighbors.”