LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For many donors and animal welfare advocates, the name Kathy Jung goes hand in hand with suspicious spending and misuse of money.
Money meant for animals at the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Now, nearly two years after the Nevada attorney general began investigating allegations 13 Investigates first exposed, Jung is facing three counts of felony theft.
Kathy Jung served for years as NSPCA president, directed shelter operations and controlled the nonprofit's money.
While Jung solicited well-intentioned donations for wayward animals, she allegedly diverted some of that money for her own expenses.
She resigned along with the rest of her board in 2019 amid an attorney general investigation.
"I stopped what I was doing and I lost my breath!" said former NSPCA volunteer Chelsea Collins of her reaction when we told her Jung was under arrest.
"We've just been waiting for the day to hear this news," Collins said. "We've all just been waiting for it."
Collins and other former insiders helped blow the whistle on what was going on behind the scenes at the shelter on Dewey Drive near Decatur Boulevard and Russell Road.
13 Investigates broke the story in November of 2018.
"The main concern started out with the treatment of the animals there," Collins said. "We were all horrified with the conditions of the shelter and the treatment of the animals--the neglect that was going on."
Our investigation exposed dilapidated conditions and broken promises at the shelter from a leaking roof, to a cockroach and spider infestation, to sewage hoses running through dog kennels and volunteers severely mauled.
"There were some questions and suspicions about if all this money was being donated, why was the shelter not being kept up better? Why were the animals not being treated better?" Collins recalls.
Under Jung's leadership, the NSPCA took in money from fundraisers and donations for a new shelter that had been promised for years but never built.
The criminal investigation examined non-animal related spending on Jung's NSPCA debit card as well as ATM withdrawals and petty cash irregularities.
Many checks written on the NSPCA's account were signed and endorsed by Jung with no receipts or backup documentation.
"Ultimately, we hope that she serves jail time," said Collins. "As you pointed out--you guys uncovered the fact that she's done this before, so she has a history."
As we exposed in our initial investigation, Jung is already a convicted criminal from a past felony theft case in 2004 involving embezzlement from a car dealer where she worked as controller.
"She was allowed to do it again under the guise of serving for a charitable organization this time around, so yeah, we'd all like to see her serve jail time for this," said Collins.
"She's done a terrible injustice to those animals there," she added. "We're so happy that they're under such better care now with the new board and the new management but justice still needs to be served where Kathy Jung is involved."
Lori Heeren, who took over as Nevada SPCA's executive director after Jung left, sent the following statement:
"This is part of our past; Ms. Jung has not been part of Nevada SPCA for 2 years. In those two years, we have worked very hard with a new staff and a new board of directors to create a standard of best practices in every department here including our animal care and financial protocols. We are an organization today of which the community and our donors can be very proud."
13 Investigates reached Kathy Jung's attorney, Ira Levine, via email. When asked for comment, Levine said he hasn't spoken to Ms. Jung for a period of time and this was the first he was hearing of her arrest and charges.