PTO, School Groups Beware: Rash of Embezzlements Amoung These Groups

In monitoring embezzlement stories received via Google Alerts each day, I have noticed a constant stream of new embezzlement cases involving schools, school groups, PTO groups within schools, and other related victims.

While thefts from these groups are not unusual, the amount of stories related to these groups in the last two weeks is alarming.

“LAKE OSWEGO — A woman who kept the books for a Lake Oswego parent group and two sports clubs was arrested Thursday on accusations of embezzlement.
Ranae Marlee Mason, 45, was accused on the belief she embezzled about $84,000. The baseball group noticed irregularities and audited their books, noting that $5,000 was missing. That led to the other two groups reviewing their accounts. The football league was missing $51,000 and the PTA $30,000.”

“Preston Junior High School Secretary, Idaho.  Allison Kay Hoth, 40, a secretary at Preston Junior High School was arrested and charged with theft for allegedly taking between $30,000 to $40,000 from one of the school accounts over the space of two years.”

“Magnolia Park PTO vows changes after embezzlement.  OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) – The Magnolia Park Elementary Parent Teacher Organization in Ocean Springs could soon be changing the way it does business. That word comes a day after the PTO treasurer was arrested and charged with embezzling thousands of dollars from the organization.  Fitts, who volunteered as the PTO treasurer, is accused of taking $20,000 over a six month period.”

And yet another today –

Federal Way youth sports treasurer sentenced in embezzlement

“The former treasurer for three Federal Way youth sports leagues was sentenced today to 30 days in jail and must pay nearly $34,000 in restitution for embezzling funds from the leagues.  Colleen A. Wiley, 44, pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to first-degree theft. Prosecutors say Wiley wrote unauthorized checks and an unauthorized wire transfer totaling $33,967.20 – the restitution she must now pay.  According to court documents, the Federal Way woman stole the money from three leagues between August 2007 and January 2009. The three leagues involved are the Puget Sound Junior Football League, the Federal Way American Little League and Federal Way Junior Football Hawks.”

Here are the URL links to the referenced stories:

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