PTA embezzlement alert: There’s something rotten in Buckhead

There’s money missing from Atlanta’s E. Rivers Elementary School PTA and foundation. The amount taken from the Buckhead parents’ groups hasn’t been revealed, but police are investigating, and reportedly nearly $54,000 has been recovered. A parent and a former Signature Bank employee (same person?) are suspected and authorities are still sorting things out.

From the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

“It is one of our parents,” PTA Co-President Elise Lowry said during the meeting at Covenant Presbyterian Church, across Peachtree Road from the school.

Lowry alerted Atlanta police to the missing money on March 7, according to an incident report obtained by the AJC. Lowry reported that an account audit by the PTA discovered missing check payments from Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Lowry told police that she confirmed checks in excess of $20,000 were deposited into a bank account at Signature Bank, and that a person suspected in the theft worked at the bank, according to the incident report.

“The money was never taken from our account. It was intercepted before it ever got to us,” Lowry said at the Tuesday night meeting.

The amount of money missing from the school’s account apparently has grown since the initial report. A budget distributed at the PTA meeting showed $53,821.19 has been recovered.

Attorney Steven Dunlevie, a spokesman for Signature Bank, would only say that the individual in question worked at the bank from March 1, 1995, to April 9, 2012. Dunlevie, with the Womble Carlyle firm, would not comment on why the person left the bank.

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