TACOMA, Wash. -

The executive director of the Tacoma-Pierce County St. Vincent De Paul Society estimates more than $500,000 has been stolen from the charity over the past decade.

Charles Thompson recently told supporters in a letter that authorities are investigating possible embezzlement.

Thompson told The News Tribune the losses were discovered last summer before he was hired.

The losses led the charity to lay off 18 workers and close one thrift store.