Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fraud charges withdrawn in Delco, Pennsylvania school case

The Delaware County District Attorney's Office yesterday withdrew charges against a former member of the Penn-Delco school board who had been accused of embezzling funds from a private high school sports booster club. John Green of Brookhaven was president and treasurer of the Sportsters Club, in Aston,
when he was arrested in May for theft and receiving stolen property.
Green gave investigators a financial accounting that showed he had paid bills from his own account to cover club expenses. He then reimbursed himself when club funds became available, his attorney said.
Green's legal woes might not be over, however. The District Attorney's Office said in a news release that the investigation isn't done yet.
In 2007, Green, a Penn-Delco school board member at the time, pleaded no contest to conflict-of-interest charges, after he failed to disclose that he worked for a company that had a school-district contract and that he would receive a commission.
Last March, Green was fined $500 by the state Ethics Commission when it found he had failed to file his financial-disclosure form.
In June 2008, Robert Mesaros, superintendent of the Penn-Delco District, called police to report possible missing funds from the club, according to court records. The club members were students at Sun Valley High School.
"They never looked at his bank account," Michael F.X. Gillin, Green's attorney, said yesterday. "They only looked at the club's bank account."
Gillin said that Green had advanced the club about $8,800 of his own funds, then reimbursed himself when members paid dues. Green paid for event locations, trophies, and flowers from his personal account because the club was often short of cash.
Gillin provided The Inquirer with a document stating that Green had paid out more than $19,000 on behalf of the club and was reimbursed about $16,000.
Green, who had two daughters in the club, told investigators what he had done, Gillin said. "He admits he was a lousy bookkeeper," the lawyer said. "But he is no thief."
Michael Dugan, assistant district attorney, declined to comment on the withdrawn charges.
The D.A's Office said in the release that the investigation was continuing, thanks to newly received information. Erica Parham, spokeswoman for the office, declined to elaborate.

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