Transgender non-profit founder arrested for fraud, money laundering after ‘unexpected return’ from El Salvador

Ruby Corado, who founded a non-profit for homeless LGBTQ youth, returned to the US unexpectedly two years after fleeing to El Salvador with at least $150,000 only to be immediately arrested.

Corado, 53, is a biological male who identifies as a woman. He set up Casa Ruby, Inc. to primarily help Latin transgender individuals and allegedly absconded with the money that was given to the foundation as part of taxpayer-backed pandemic relief funds. As more and more questions about the non-profit’s finances started to surface, he fled the country.

FBI agents arrested the transgender activist on Tuesday at a hotel in Laurel, Maryland, after the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said he made an “unexpected return” to the U.S.

“Corado sold her home in Prince Georges County two years ago and fled to El Salvador when questions were being raised about financial irregularities at the non-profit. The non-profit had shuttered its transitional housing, failed to pay its employees, and faced eviction from multiple properties for failure to pay rent,” Fox News reported.

(Video Credit: WUSA9)

The non-profit ceased operations in July 2022.

“Corado appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to face charges of defrauding the Paycheck Protection and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs and money laundering,” Fox News noted.

“Corado allegedly diverted at least $150,000 of $1.3 million in taxpayer-backed emergency relief funds, intended for Casa Ruby, to private bank accounts in El Salvador for personal use, which were hidden from the IRS,” the media outlet added.+4

The transgender founder was slapped with charges that include “bank fraud, wire fraud, laundering of monetary instruments, monetary transactions in criminally derived proceeds, and failure to file a report of a foreign bank account.” He is being held for a pending detention hearing that will take place on Friday.

The Washington Post reported that Corado “founded the non-profit in 2012 in a Latino LGBT community center in Columbia Heights. The organization ran a 50-bed emergency housing program across seven locations and a drop-in center.”

Casa Ruby had grown to almost $3.5 million in annual revenue by 2019. In 2020 it had 127 employees and almost $4.2 million in annual revenue, according to the Washington Post.

It appears that under charitable auspices, the non-profit was raking in money that enriched Corado.

“Between 2016 and 2022, The Post reported that Casa Ruby received $9.6 million in grants from city agencies to serve the needs of the District’s Latino and LGBTQ youth communities. The nonprofit reported more than $4.1 million in grants and other revenue on its most recent federal tax filings, which showed that Corado earned $260,000. But employees told The Post last year that they had gone without pay, and multiple landlords alleged the same,” the Washington Post wrote.

“In November 2022, the D.C. Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint stating Corado funneled more than $400,000 from Casa Ruby to her personal accounts between April 2021 and September 2021. Corado denied those allegations when she spoke to News4 from El Salvador, insisting she was targeted for her criticism of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration and a complaint she filed against the D.C. Department of Human Services,” News4 reported.

“A court-appointed receiver also has sued the group’s board, alleging that it did not provide oversight — allegedly enabling Corado to embezzle more than $800,000, increase her own salary, and open an office in El Salvador, all without board approval,” the Washington Post further noted.

Corado reportedly came to the U.S. when he was 16 years old and made a living as a sex worker for a number of years. He was homeless at times and eventually became an LGBTQ activist.

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