Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kentucky Woman pleads guilty to theft from local groups, stole from youth teams, school organizations.

A former Perrysburg woman admitted in Wood County Common Pleas Court to stealing more than $110,000 from the bank accounts of school, community, and youth baseball groups and using the money on personal expenses and services.

Kiki Lorann, 36, who now lives in Tiffin, pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of grand theft and three counts of theft. When sentenced July 16 by Judge Robert Pollex, who handled her pleas to the felonies, she faces up to eight years in prison.

Assistant Prosecutor Tom Matuszak said she took the position of volunteer treasurer in six Perrysburg-area groups from 2010 to 2012. He said she had the authority to pay the legitimate expenses of the organizations, but instead misspent money in their accounts on personal items and services.

Two Perrysburg school groups sustained the largest financial loss from Lorann’s embezzlement: Perrysburg Elementary Parents Association lost $48,728, and Toth Parents Club had $43,793 taken from its account.

The other victims and the amount of money stolen are: Perrysburg Sting baseball team, $3,067; Perrysburg Gold travel baseball team, $9,944; Perrysburg Amateur Baseball and Softball Commission, $2,600, and Perrysburg Dirtbag baseball travel team, $1,915.

Mr. Matuszak said the thefts were carried out by Lorann writing checks on accounts held by the groups and purchasing personal goods and services on credit and debit cards. He said she often made interbank transfers of funds to conceal the fraudulent transactions.

The assistant prosecutor said representatives of the groups will be allowed to make victim-impact statements at the woman’s sentencing. He said he will ask Judge Pollex for a sentence that includes Lorann making restitution to the organizations. None of the organizations had representatives at the hearing.

Perrysburg Schools Superintendent Tom Hosler said the crimes committed by Lorann damage the trust of volunteers and parents who unselfishly give their time and money.

“I think that any time there is a theft like this, it really stirs and shakes the core group of people who have worked so hard to improve the quality of education and the experiences the kids have in the schools,” he said.

Mr. Hosler said that after learning about the embezzled funds the school district took steps to work with leaders of school support groups to improve financial accounting and ensure that there are safeguards to discourage theft.

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