FORT MYERS, Fla. --- "I was shocked. it was like one of my own kids, kicking me in the stomach."
Ronald Muschong is talking about Robert Bruist, the former executive director of the Independent Living of Southwest Florida. Bruist is accused of clearing out the bank accounts of the non profit, almost one million dollars, to support an extravagant lifestyle.
"At that time we realized we were many months behind in our rent payments. Realized a lot of bills weren't being paid, accounts being zeroed out," said Bruist.
Forcing the doors to close in July 2011.
"Alot of folks felt they were taken advantage of. they were disappointed," said current CFO Jeff Bridges.
Enter the independent living center of Broward County, who set up another center in Fort Myers, called Gulf Coast.
They took in hundreds left without services for several months.
"They are happy they have the opportunity to come here and learn and get the resources that we provide," said Bridges.
This center keeps a closer eye on the books.
"Proper policies, procedures, controls in place, like i said we have annual audits," said Bridges.
And says they continue to grow everyday.
"Next thing we want to do is regain some of those relationships that we had in the community."