Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Greenville school PTO treasurer charged with embezzlement, forgery in Michigan

A Greenville Public Schools elementary parent teacher organization board member is being accused of diverting thousands of the nonprofit group’s dollars towards her personal use last year.
Laura Suzanne Outen, 34, of Greenville, was formally charged with single counts of embezzlement and forgery after turning herself into authorities on Friday, Feb. 15, according to Greenville Public Safety Director Michael Pousak.
She posted a $500 cash bond and will be formally arraigned on March 1, said Montcalm County Sheriff’s officials. The single count of uttering and publishing is a 14-year felonyand the single count of embezzlement is a 10-year felony.
Pousak said members of the Walnut Hills Elementary School PTO board came to Greenville Police on Jan. 11 to make a formal complaint against Outen, who is treasurer of the group.
Pousak said the police investigation found enough evidence to warrant charges by the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office. He said the PTO is missing between $12,000 and $18,000.
Pousak said the alleged embezzlement occurred between January and June of 2012 and it appears that Outen used the funds for undisclosed personal expenses.
The group is holding a fundraiser is from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Big Boy on Washington Street in Greenville to help offset some of the embezzlement losses.
“This fundraiser will greatly help the PTO recovering from our recent financial setback,” PTO President Christian Sowers told the Greenville Daily News. Sowers did not immediately return messages left by MLive.
PTOs are nonprofit organizations not directly affiliated with schools, but which raise money for things like playground equipment, library collections and special events.

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