Tellico PTO treasurer indicted for fraud
NASHVILLE (WDEF) – An audit by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has lead to an indictment of a PTO treasurer in East Tennessee.
Jennifer Letner worked for the Parent Teacher Organization at Tellico Plains Elementary School during the 2018-19 school year.
The Comptroller’s Office says she admitted to their investigators that she was experiencing financial difficulties.
They say she stole at least $22,932 to pay living expenses.
Investigators say she used at least 5 schemes to skim the money.
- Letner used the PTO debit card on at least 48 occasions to make personal purchases totaling at least $6,789. These purchased included payments for automobile loans, mobile phone service, purchases of birthday party supplies, and other personal items.
- Letner made 10 unauthorized over-the-counter cash withdrawals totaling $5,701 from the PTO account.
- Letner wrote and cashed PTO checks totaling $4,655 payable to her husband or herself. She signed the PTO president’s name on at least eight of the unauthorized checks.
- Letner used a PTO debit card to make 23 ATM cash withdrawals totaling at least $3,508.
- Letner wrote and cashed three PTO checks payable to cash totaling $2,279.
They are still reviewing another $660 disbursed from the PTO bank account with no paper trail.
Letner was indicted by the Monroe County Grand Jury for theft over $10,000.
“School support organizations must abide by state law to safeguard funds and property,” said Comptroller Jason Mumpower.
“In this case, the treasurer was the only one who had access to the PTO bank account statements, and the PTO did not require two signatures on checks. These are just two examples of controls that can help prevent or detect fraudulent activity.”