Hermantown Police Investigate Alleged $100k Fraud From Parent Teacher Organization
The Hermantown Police Department is investigation allegations of a large-scale fraud case involving the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) in the school system. Authorities were brought into the case at the request of the PTO President who discovered missing funds from an organization bank account.
The allegations from the organization president suggest that the missing money was fraudulently taken by another member of the group.
While the investigation is ongoing, the amount of money that's missing is significant. According to a written statement from the Hermantown Police Department and shared by multiple news reports:
"The reporting party stated that there were 360 individual thefts and overdrafts over the past three years. The 42-year old suspect had written 31 checks to herself with a total value of $43,638.50. An additional $59,000 was stolen in the form of debit card purchases and cash withdrawls."
Totaled together, that would mean that more than $102,000 was missing and unaccounted for from the Parent Teacher Organizations bank account.
For their part, the PTO has shared an open letter from their president to parents and school staff that explains the situation, provides details on how they are changing their "checks and balances" to allow for internal auditing, and offers transparency of the issue.
While the Parent Teacher Organization is not directly-affiliated with the Hermantown School District. It's a seperate group that "raises money for Hermantown Elementary teachers and their students" and is not an official part of the district. School officials are however cooperating with the police investigation.
For the time being, all fundraising and events planned by the Parent Teacher Organization are "on hold" pending the results of the Hermantown Police Departments investigation.