Judge freezes Christmas Bureau's assets
The Christmas Bureau of Austin and Travis County is no longer in business, and its director is under investigation for misappropriating funds.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Office says Shon Washington and his family members cleaned out the charity's bank accounts and skipped town.
A judge has frozen the nonprofit's assets and has issued restraining orders against Washington, his wife and two former Christmas Bureau officials.
The Christmas Bureau has operated for almost 50 years in Austin, helping families who can't afford the holidays on their own.
According to court documents, Washington was hired as a handyman and was promoted to president in Dec. 2011.
A message from Washington on the charity's website blames this year's difficulties on the economy.
The Austin Police Department's Blue Santa program has pledged to step up to help the families who were relying on the Christmas Bureau.