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State investigating embezzlement allegations at Jesse Cosby Center in Waterloo

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The Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center in Waterloo.

WATERLOO — State authorities are investigating possible embezzlement at the Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center.

In a statement issued Thursday, officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety disclosed that officers with the Division of Criminal Investigation and State Patrol executed a search warrant at the center’s building at 1112 Mobile St. on July 13.

“The Division of Criminal Investigation received information alleging the misuse of funds from the non-profit Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center by the center’s director, Jesse Henderson. The Division of Criminal Investigation initiated an investigation and identified additional information corroborating the allegations of misuse of funds,” DCI officials said in the statement.

Henderson, who had a salary of $48,288 at the organization’s executive director, had been working for the center for 15 years.

The Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center, which has been in operation for more than 55 years, provides services to the Waterloo community including senior services with an adult day center, meals on wheels and a youth summer meals program.

The investigation into the alleged embezzlement of funds from the Center is to ensure the money given to the center is used for proper expenditures, DCI officials said.

No charges have been filed in connection with the investigation.

The center has an annual budget in the area of $400,000, according to the organization’s records filed with the IRS.

In July, Henderson and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with $308,000 in liabilities. The filings noted $12,000 in gambling losses in 2020 with $1,200 in winnings and $247,000 in student loan debt.

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