Culver City crime: Cheryl Noda pleads guilty

We’ve been folllowing this case for a while, and now it’s gone through the courts. Cheryl Noda of Culver City, California, has pleaded guilty to grand theft in connection with an embezzlement scheme that financially crippled her elementary school PTA. By the way, unlike many PTA embezzlers, she actually spent a day in jail. One. 

From Culber City Patch

Cheryl Noda, who was charged with stealing funds from the El Rincon Elementary School PTA, was convicted of one count of grand theft by embezzlement in a Los Angeles court Thursday morning.

Noda was charged April 12 with two counts of grand theft by embezzlement, one count of second-degree commercial burglary and two counts of forgery. She pleaded not guilty to all charges at the time.

However, Noda pleaded no contest Thursday morning to one count of grand theft by emebezzlement. The four other charges were dropped. Noda will serve three years of formal probation for the crime. She has also been ordered to undergo 90 days of community service and has had one day of her sentence reduced after spending 24 hours in the LA County jail, Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney’s Office told Patch.

Read more.

Click here to learm more about Chain Gang Elementary.

PTA mom pleads guilty to forgery AND claims innocence

Here’s an embezzlement case in which a former California PTA treasurer makes a plea deal and cuts a restitution check—and then denies wrongdoing through her lawyer.  No jail time involved, either.

From the Orange County Register:

Heidi Maclean Andrews, 50, of Rancho Santa Margarita also will perform 120 hours of community service, be put on three years’ probation and pay court fees.

“There were at least two PTA checks where she changed the payee from the school to a business she owned,” said Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. “It’s unclear what she spent the money on.”

Emami said the parents who initially came forward to report the alleged theft believed Andrews had stolen as much as $14,750, but investigators pegged the figure at $9,895, based on what they could prove in court.

Andrews was charged Nov. 16, 2011, with three felony counts of acts constituting forgery and one felony count of grand theft. The former PTA treasurer, who served on the parent-teacher association from about 2005 to 2009, pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Newport Beach courthouse to one misdemeanor count of acts constituting forgery.

Andrews’ attorney, Dyke E. Huish, said his client was “a sloppy bookkeeper,” not a thief. She paid for PTA programs, including school theater productions, using her own money and would reimburse herself by writing a PTA check, Huish said. She did it “out of convenience, not out of theft,” he added.

Read more.

Click here to learm more about Chain Gang Elementary.

PTA embezzlement alert: Last year’s treasurer–this year’s suspect

This one comes from Harry Truman’s hometown. Prosecutors say there were two sets of books and an unauthorized bank debit card involved.
Independence, MO — Mary A. Ward has been charged with felony theft/stealing of at least $500 from the Blue Hills Elementary School PTA account.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced the charges Wednesday against Ward, 31.

Ward left the position of treasurer of the Blue Hills PTA last summer, and the new treasurer reported to the PTA president that there was approximately a $22,000 discrepancy in the account.

Read more.  KCTV also has an account with video.


PTA embezzlement alert: This time, it’s West Virginia

West Virgiaia State Police will investigate the possible embezzlement of more than $30,000 from the Johnson Elementary School PTA in Bridgeport. Details are few and people aren’t returning reporter’s calls.  Here’s what’s been reported, but be warned there’s a lotta yada yada in this article.


Stealing from Girl Scouts and PTA? That’s cold

Talk about a paper trail: Suspect wrote a check on the PTA account to pay back the Girl Scouts for the money she took.

From KSPR News: 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A woman from Springfield is accused of stealing funds from the Wanda Gray Elementary School Parent-Teacher Associationand Girl Scouts Troop 70472. Prosecutors charged Lyndsay Joy-Peck with two counts of stealing on Thursday after a four-week investigation by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

Joy-Peck was a leader for the troop and a vice president for the PTA. She has two children at Wanda Gray, which is south of Springfield at the corner of Plainview Road at Cox Road. The school’s web site shows the position of PTA vice president is now vacant.

Leaders of the PTA and Girl Scouts called the sheriff’s department in early April about missing funds. Probable cause statements used as the basis of the charges say Girl Scouts officials first confronted Joy-Peck last November. An audit by the Girl Scouts found Joy-Peck bought $2,566.16 worth of personal goods at several stores. An audit of PTA accounts found Joy-Peck spent $1,934.87 from that group for personal items.

A detective wrote in the probable cause statements that Joy-Peck repaid some of the funds to the Girl Scouts but still owes $609.94. After Girl Scouts officials confronted her, the probable cause statement says, she wrote checks to the Girl Scouts with a personal check and with a check from the PTA.

The detective interviewed Joy-Peck on April 6. He said she admitted what she did and said she did it because she didn’t want her husband to be mad about how much she was spending. She said, once the thefts started, things spiraled out of control.

“Joy-Peck stated she couldn’t give a real reason why she did it, but it was probably greed. She further advised it was a little of keeping up with the (Joneses),” the detective wrote.

Read more.

No treasurer, no money? PTA funds missing in Ohio

Dawn Douglass, presidenta of the Orchard Hill Elementary School PTA in North Canton, Ohio, told police this week that that $3,351 of the organization’s money has gone missing.
The local paper reports:

“They were working through treasury reports at their regular meetings, and they couldn’t get reconciliation,” (City School Superintendent Mike Gallina) said. “They started to go back through and said this doesn’t make any sense.”Hoping the discrepancies were due to merely an error, school district officials suggested that the PTA hire an accountant to audit its books, Gallina said. He wasn’t sure if it had done so.

Complicating matters, the PTA has been operating without a treasurer. The PTA’s last treasurer stepped down around Christmas in frustration, Gallina said. He said he didn’t know why.

I bet a lot of folks in North Canton are guessing why. Read more.