Friday, September 20, 2013

PTA thefts go to grand jury in Mississippi

A felony embezzlement case involving two former PTA board members at Olive Branch Intermediate School is expected to be presented to the grand jury next month.

The alleged theft, which occurred in a six-month period during the last school year, has been reported at more than $20,000 but Olive Branch police Sgt. Jeff Abbott declined to confirm the amount.

"It is not anything confirmed yet," Abbott said. He identified the two people charged in the case as Kimberly Maxwell and Tameral Johnson.

Police have estimated that the embezzlement occurred between August 2012 and February of 2013.
Abbott said the investigation produced no evidence that any school personnel were involved in the embezzlement.

Abbott said he could not provide any further details at this time.

The Mississippi PTA issued a statement from Jackson that it is aware of the embezzlement charges and that the case will go to a grand jury soon.

"While we are unable to speak for the Olive Branch Intermediate PTA, or comment on the charges, we will continue to support this local PTA and the good work they do for children in their local school as we do for all the PTAs across the state," the statement says.

Further, it says, "While it may be hard to acknowledge, theft, fraud and embezzlement are pervasive in today's society. Fraud costs U.S. organizations over $400 billion annually. The average organization loses approximately 6 percent of its total annual revenue to these abuses."

It also says the state PTA provides all local PTAs with leadership training and that more than four million PTA members across the country also have access to "e-learning courses" through the National PTA website.  Courses include "Preventing Theft in Your PTA."

Efforts to reach an Olive Intermediate PTA leader were unsuccessful.

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