Founder of D.C. LGBTQ nonprofit arrested on fraud and money laundering charges

The FBI arrested the founder of a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that served homeless LGBTQ youth on money laundering and fraud charges after her return to the United States from El Salvador.

Ruby Corado allegedly transferred at least $150,000 in emergency relief funds intended for Casa Ruby to private bank accounts in El Salvador and hid it from the IRS, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. She had received more than $1.3 million in funding from the paycheck protection program and the economic injury disaster loan program

Ruby Corado
Ruby Corado, the founder of Casa Ruby in Washington, D.C. on 2019.Sarah L. Voisin / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

When news Corado was under investigation became public in 2022, she sold her home in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and fled to El Salvador, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Casa Ruby stopped operating in July 2022, failing to pay rent and employees and closing its transitional housing, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

FBI agents arrested Corado at a hotel in Laurel, Maryland, Tuesday.

Bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Wire fraud carries up to 20 years. The money laundering charges carry up to 20 years.

Casa Ruby Founder
Ruby Corado (seated) with people who frequent or are clients of Casa Ruby in Washington, D.C., in 2016. Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

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 NBC Washington 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.