Among the many expectations California parents may have is that the start of each school year brings a new round of fundraisers. Raising money for schools is essential since the cost of education continues to rise. Parent/Teacher Organizations may raise thousands of dollars for their schools, and occasionally, those entrusted with the accounting of the money face charges of white collar crimes.
Recently, a routine audit of a local school’s PTO accounts revealed discrepancies that triggered an investigation. Members of the PTO contacted police when they concluded that someone had allegedly been taking money from the organization’s accounts for most of 2017. After a nine-month investigation, police arrested the 35-year-old treasurer of the PTO.
Police took a long time to build their case because they needed to review audits and verify accounts, which can be a complex undertaking. However, the evidence they presented to the district attorney was apparently enough for an arrest warrant. The woman is charged with grand theft, which means police believe she is responsible for missing money surpassing $950. The accused woman was formerly employed by H&R Block, and the ongoing investigation may include clients she dealt with at her previous job.
When police arrest someone for white collar crimes, it is typical to do so after a lengthy investigation. During that time, the accused may not know he or she is under scrutiny. By the time the subject of the investigation is charged, California prosecutors may already have substantial evidence. Because of that, it is critical to have a solid defense strategy in place as soon as possible.