A woman from Jackson was charged with embezzlement on August 31 after allegedly stealing approximately $8,000 from the Northwest Athletic Boosters. Her charge was embezzlement of under $20,000 from a charity or non-profit organization. Because embezzlement is a felony crime, the 31-year-old woman faces fines of at least $15,000 and up to 10 years behind bars.
The woman allegedly took the money while she was a member of the booster club, which raises money for students who participate in sports in Northwest Community Schools. She is formerly a president and treasurer of the club. She has since resigned from her duties.
The problem came to light in June 2012, after the now-interim president became a board member. At that time, the booster club was $4,000 in debt. Fortunately, the club is making progress on the debts. In addition, the club has insurance that will recover any funds that are proven to be stolen. The club has initiated new practices to prevent this from happening in the future. There is now a reconciliation sheet for the cash drawer and any money earned is counted by several board members before depositing it. There has also been a change which no longer allows one person to fill two roles.
Embezzlement can carry severe penalties. A felony conviction can keep a person from finding gainful employment, as well as facing the prospect of serious jail time or significant fines. Anyone facing this type of serious felony charge should be sure to get the right information about putting together the best criminal defense.
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, "Woman, 31, arraigned on felony charge for allegedly embezzling money from Northwest Athletic Boosters," Aug. 31, 2012