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A former treasurer accused of stealing money collected for school band trip in Virginia

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West Rowan Middle School Booster band was practicing for months for a big competition in Williamsburg, Virginia. Just as the group was about to pay for the trip last month, it noticed that the money in its account was gone.

Parent and former band treasurer Chantel Racquelle is accused of taking $14,000 within 6 months. She is also accused of using the band’s debit card to make purchases at retail stores and restaurants like Hendrix BBQ.

Now band is collecting money for the trip through GoFundMe platform with a hope to take the center stage in VA.

“Our main goal has been to protect these kids at all costs,” Amy Mitchell, the vice president of the booster club, said.  “Any of the kids that are in the band. They did not do this.It’s not fair for them to be punished by a decision an adult decided to do.”

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  • April 6, 2018

Woman gets 1 year of jail for stealing $75,000 from northwest Arizona school district

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Sarah Mae Diaz is the the only living defendant charged in the theft of the Topock Elementary School District money. While Diaz spent $75,000, her mother Kim Konnerth, the former business manager for the school district, was the architect of the embezzlement scheme that siphoned off more than $236,000 of public funds. Kim Konnerth died in 2017 of cancer.

Diaz’s scheme was revealed when a bank teller noticed she was cashing district checks while not being a district employee.

John Warren, Topock SD Superintendent, said the embezzlement negatively impacted finances, leaving school district employees without raises for three years. According to Warren, “this was not a crime of desperation. It was a crime of repetitious greed.”

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  • April 6, 2018

A former school secretary used her position to steal money

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Former school secretary pleads guilty to theft from Tarrytown Union Free School District.

Between October 2011 and March 2017, Carol Ressa stole over $10,000 from the Sleepy Hollow Middle School in New York. Ressa pled guilty to felony grand larceny as public corruption crime for stealing $10,000 from Tarrytown Union Free School District.

“Carol Ressa used her position as a public employee to steal the money from the school,”said Anthony Scarpino, Jr.,  Westchester District Attorney.

Ressa’s scheme was stealing unauthorized checks drawn from the district bank account. She also stole several checks and money orders provided by middle school students and their families for class trips and lunches.

Carol Ressa faces payment of restitution to the school district and five years of probation.

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  • April 6, 2018

A volunteer stole thousands of dollars from the PTG account by forging signatures

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Julie Riviello, 41, from Clyde, NY, was charged with third-degree grand larceny and second-degree forgery.

Riviello was employed by the Clyde-Savannah Central School District and also was a volunteer for the parent-teacher group. Riviello allegedly wrote checks from the parent-teacher group to herself and forged the signatures of other PTG members “to make them appear genuine.”

Deputies didn’t reveal how much money Riviello allegedly stole. But the charge of third-degree grand larceny charge defines the theft as between $3,000 and $50,000.

The District was informed that staff member has been arrested and will continue to follow the district policies regarding this personnel matter.

Riviello was arraigned in Galen Town Court and remanded to the Wayne County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond.

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  • April 5, 2018

Harrisburg school officials tighten controls after $180,000 theft by a transportation supervisor

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Dana L. Andrews, 38, of Steelton, is facing a host of charges after she stole funds from the district.  Andrews was the school district’s Supervisor of Transportation at Harrisburg School District in Pennsylvania during the alleged thefts.

She was embezzling money by creating fraudulent invoices. Much of this was done electronically through mobile-app deposits, which district officials say may have made it difficult to track. From May 5, 2016 to Nov. 7, 2017, she stole $179,312.12, the charging document say.

She made six ATM deposits and 67 deposits over a cell phone app. She altered 44 checks by adding her name to 17 checks made payable to the district and forging 27 checks using a false signature.

She faces one count of theft by deception, 44 counts of forgery, 67 counts of unlawful use of a computer.

This is not Andrews’ first run-in with the law. Court records show she has four other criminal convictions. After the incident district is developing tighter oversights.

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  • April 5, 2018

A former Principal stole $12,000 from the district’s credit card in Minnesota

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In Minneapolis former School Principal has been sentenced to three years of supervised probation for using a district credit card to purchase nearly $12,000 worth of personal items.  Anne De Perry, 56, former Principal at Whittier International School, was convicted on three counts of theft by swindle.

A random audit by the school district in October 2015 turned up a charge at a hat store overseas. When asked, De Perry said she accidentally used the wrong card and offered to repay $1,700 in question.

Instead the auditor took a look at the entire time frame in which De Perry had access to the card – from December 2013 to September 2015. The auditor found she made $11,830 in non-school related charges.

About a month later, De Perry resigned from her position as Whittier’s Principal.

Hennepin County District Judge Gina Brandt sentenced De Perry to three years on probation and four days in the county workhouse in Plymouth, MN. In addition, she must perform 240 hours of community service. She already has paid Minneapolis Public Schools $10,000 in restitution.

De Perry now works at a charter school in California, according to a previous release from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

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  • April 5, 2018

PTA treasurer in California was accused of embezzling $22,000

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Danny Cervantes, 34, a former PTA treasurer of Herbert Hover Elementary School in California was accused of stealing over $22,000 from the PTA.

Cervantes was accused of using a PTA debit card for his personal use. As PTA president and treasurer he had the only access to the debit card.

Cervantes got the volunteer position because he had a background in accounting. His responsibilities included balancing finances, issuing payments and making deposits and purchases.

A Hoover Elementary teacher reported the theft to police after she noticed bank records showing multiple cash withdraws. The teacher “routinely” asked Cervantes for updates on finances but he “vehemently” avoided providing any type of official bank statements.

Police contacted Bank of America and obtained footage of the suspect’s transactions. He initially denied making all the transactions claiming other people had access to the debit card. Cervantes confessed to withdrawing the money after being presented with photos of him making the transactions.

The felony complaint alleges embezzlement of $22,473.

The Hoover PTA has been working “diligently” to raise money to replace the stolen funds and cover unpaid bills.

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  • April 5, 2018

PTC treasurer from Ohio got probation and must repay more than $50,000

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Heather O’Connor, 45, was sentenced to five years of probation for stealing thousands of dollars. She embezzled funds from a pair of programs affiliated with Shawnee schools.

O’Connor will use that time on probation to earn the more than $50,000, including $42,141 to the Shawnee Middle School PTC and an additional $9,277 to the Little Indians volleyball booster club.

Embezzlement was detected when a bill came due associated with a fundraiser that was not paid. The bill then was forwarded to the middle school, and school officials discovered insufficient funds within the PTC account.

O’Connor tearfully apologized to school officials, students, staff and family members during her sentencing hearing: “I used money that did not belong to me, and before I knew it my actions had snowballed into something I couldn’t overcome. I am deeply, deeply sorry”.

She pleaded guilty to a single count of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, after accepting a negotiated deal with prosecutors.

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  • April 3, 2018