Monday, August 19, 2013

Two now face trial in PTA thievery in Michigan

Andrea Dress, vice president of the Grand Haven school's PTA, said they are trying get the momentum going again even as they wait for the embezzlement case to make its way through the courts.

Police arrested former Ferry PTA treasurer Melissa Moore, 29, in early July on a charge of embezzlement of between $1,000 and $20,000. Moore's husband, Adam Youngs, 31, was also arrested last month on the same charge.

The couple posted bond after being arraigned in Ottawa County District Court.

Moore is scheduled for a final pre-trial conference on Monday. At that time, she could decide to enter a plea in the case, or go ahead with her trial that is set to begin Sept. 4.

Youngs is set to have a final pre-trial conference on Sept. 23. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 1.

If convicted of the embezzlement charges, Moore and Youngs each face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine, or up to three times the amount that was embezzled, whichever is greater.

Police were alerted to the possible crime in May when other PTA officers discovered discrepancies in the organization's savings and checking accounts. Police and Dress declined to say how much money was missing.

Dress did say at the time that there were enough funds to pay for end-of-the-school-year activities the PTA was hosting.

Prior to school starting next month, the Ferry Elementary School PTA is hosting a clothing swap for school kids on Aug. 21. Anyone wanting to donate gently used clothes for the event may drop them off at the school office on Monday and Tuesday between noon and 3 p.m.

The Ferry PTA is also hosting a Back to School Night on Aug. 28. An invitation-only dinner for parents of kindergarteners and students new to the school will take place prior to that event, Dress said.

Dress said support from the community has been mixed, but support from the Ferry staff has been great.

“It would be nice to get this over,” she said. “It’s taken a toll on us.”

Dress said PTA officials will pursue getting the stolen money back.

“We’ll have to see what plays out," she said.

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