Ex-treasurer charged with theft from MPHS music booster club

Cash started disappearing soon after the woman took over as treasurer last year.

MARYSVILLE — A former treasurer is accused of stealing $9,000 from the Marysville Pilchuck High School band booster club, to cover overdue rent and debts, according to charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The woman, 42, pulled aside the president of the Marysville Music Boosters in September 2017, after the half-time show of a high school football game. They went to a quiet place to talk.

“I have sinned against you,” the treasurer said, according to the Nov. 5 charges.

She reportedly claimed she was three months behind on rent, so she’d taken money out of the club bank account, figuring she could pay it back before anyone noticed.

She told the club president she could sell off family cars or do whatever was necessary to settle up.

Days earlier, the club president was notified of problems with the booster account at Opus Bank. It was overdrawn by hundreds of dollars, and had been accruing fees of $5 per day, for a month.

She notified other members of the board. The treasurer reportedly replied, “Don’t freak out I changed banks to BECU for ease for me.”

Later, the board dug up bank records suggesting she’d forged checks in the name of a former treasurer, who resigned because of health problems in spring 2017. Cash started to go missing around then. ATM withdrawals were made without explanation.

A few days after the football game, the treasurer showed up at the club president’s door with $700 in money orders and a Costco card that had been missing, court papers say.

The nonprofit club raises money through donations for the school’s marching band and music programs. The club collects dress clothes for students who can’t afford their own.

“This type of misappropriation hurts students, the program and the club,” school district spokeswoman Jodi Runyon said in a prepared statement. “Although booster clubs are not under the district’s operations or management, we encourage booster clubs, PTSAs or other parent groups to have appropriate fiscal controls in place including monitoring and auditing systems to protect themselves from this type of activity.”

Police tried to get the treasurer’s side of the story. She told a school resource officer she could meet him on a Wednesday in October 2017. When he showed up, she messaged him saying she needed to go to work, because someone else was sick, according to the charges.

Her attorney called police two days later, saying the woman would not talk.

She is accused of first-degree theft and three counts of forgery.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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