Friday, June 7, 2013

Cops investigate alleged boy scout embezzlement in Rhode Island

Police are looking into a possible embezzlement case involving the treasurer of a local Boy Scout troop.

Katherine Valenti, 54, of West Warwick, has been accused of writing nine checks out to "Cash" and then cashing them herself. The checks were written from the Coventry Boy Scout Troop #1 checking account, and they totaled just over $8,000.

The financial activity was discovered when Committee Chairman Rockne Starks noticed the troop's checking account balance was unusually low. According to police, Valenti had already begun paying back some of the embezzled money before the missing cash was detected.

Valenti will be charged with nine counts of embezzlement. She is due in court on June 12.

A West Warwick woman faces nine felony counts of embezzlement after the chairman of Boy Scout Troop 1, which meets at St. Vincent De Paul Church, noticed that the troop's checking balance was unusually low.
Police Lt. John Shields said that troop Committee Chairman J. Rockne Starks asked for a printout of transactions over the past year and determined that the treasurer had written nine checks out to "cash" and cashed them herself. She had begun paying back the money before the crime was detected, Shields said.
Katherine A. Valenti, 54, of 34 New London Avenue in West Warwick was summoned to appear in District Court, Warwick, on June 12.

Valenti entered no plea Thursday morning. She's set to appear in Superior Court on July 29.

Police say the accusations arose after a scouting committee chairman noticed the troop's checking account balance was unusually low. The chairman asked Valenti for a printout of the troop's yearly transactions, and he noticed in the printout Valenti had written nine checks out to "Cash" totaling over $8,000 and cashed them herself.

By the time the alleged embezzlement was noticed, police say Valenti had already started paying some of the money back. The judge took note of that restitution when setting Valenti's bail.

Local Boy Scouts spokesman David Preston didn't comment Thursday; he said the organization would be deferring to police for the latest information.

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