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Former MCCPTA Treasurer charged with embezzlement of $39,000 from organization

By Matthew Proestel

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This is an update to the story ‘$39,000 missing from Montgomery County PTA account’ that appeared in Volume 55, Issue 7 from June.

County prosecutors charged former Montgomery County Council of PTAs Treasurer Lisa Betts with the embezzlement of $39,000 from the MCCPTA. Her plea hearing in the case is set to take place Nov. 17.

The criminal investigation began when an investigative team discovered discrepancies in the MCCPTA financial records April 6.

Betts made a pre-indictment plea deal with the county prosecutor, which details that she will pay full restitution and serve probation or up to six months in jail, according to sentencing guidelines provided by a state commission.

However, her plea deal is not binding until the trial commences, meaning Betts could back out of the deal anytime in the next four days. In addition, the judge presiding over the trial retains the authority to deny the plea deal.

In the aftermath of the embezzlement scandal, MCCPTA president Lynne Harris discussed the new safety measures MCCPTA has implemented to deter further incidents and ensure the security of its funds. Now, each check must have three signatures, bank statements will be filed electronically rather than on paper and the board of directors will have access to the balance of the account online.

“The truth is that if routine financial practices had been in place, this never would have happened,” Harris said.

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