Friday, April 23, 2010

Murrieta, California woman sentenced in school embezzlement case

The former treasurer of the Murrieta Elementary School parent teacher committee, who was convicted earlier this year of embezzling from the organization, has been sentenced to jail time and probation, court records show. Samantha Babbitt, 40, was sentenced Friday to 210 days in jail and five years probation by Judge Kelly Hansen at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley, court records show.
Hansen ordered Babbitt to surrender June 4 to serve 30 straight days in jail, with the remainder of her sentence to be served on weekends, court records show.
Babbitt was arrested by Murrieta police in September after nearly $43,000 was discovered missing from the committee's account, police said at the time.
Though Babbitt pleaded guilty to embezzling, she said the amount taken was significantly less than reported, prosecutor Arthur Chang said.
A hearing is set for June 4 to determine the total amount Babbitt will be required to pay back.
Babbitt was the committee treasurer for two years until her term ended last summer.
The discrepancy in the books was discovered when they were handed over to the current president and treasurer, Murrieta Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Karen Parris said at the time.

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