PTA embezzlers who steal money from kids typically don’t go to jail. The courts are content to accept a promise of restitution and put them on probation.
Take money from willing adult victims, however, and it’s a different story. Then again, this was a major scam.
Two women in California’s “Ponzi mom” scam have pleaded guilty to securities fraud. Maricela Barajas, 42, and Juliana Menefee, 51, of Diamond Bar, will each serve three years in jail and have agreed to repay $300,000 to their victims. Their ringleader, Eva Perez, 51, pleaded guilty last week and was also sentenced to a three-year jail term. She was also ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution. Perez is already serving a 10-year sentence in a similar scheme. See original post.
The women, two of whom had been members of the Neil Armstrong Elementary School PTA, convinced other PTA members (at PTA meetings, no less) that they had an exclusive Alta Dena dairy franchise at Disneyland. Authorities say they separated millions of dollars from parents from Los Angeles and San Bernadino Counties who wanted on the Disney money train. There was no there, there, however, and the unsuspecting investors were the ones taken for a ride.