A former treasurer of the Brown Deer Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization has been convicted of embezzling $59,000 from her organization.
Jennifer Vang was sentenced last month by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Dee, who suspended an eight-month prison sentence and placed Vang on 18 months probation with conditions. These conditions were the prohibition of handling, disbursing or receiving money for any organization; absolute sobriety with random testing; 50 hours of community service and no contact with the Brown Deer School District and Brown Deer Elementary School PTO except for matters related to her children’s schooling and her children’s school activities, according to the online court records.
During his preliminary hearing in November 2019, Vang initially pleaded not guilty. She changed her guilty plea on February 6. She was charged with one count of theft from a commercial establishment.
She wrote checks to herself from the PTO account
According to the criminal complaint:
Vang wrote herself numerous personal checks from PTO’s bank account while serving as treasurer of Brown Deer Elementary PTO from 2013 to July 2019. Vang amended a bank statement and provided this false statement to the PTO to hide his thefts.
In February 2019, a PTO member spoke with Brown Deer School District Director of Student Services Charlie Wiza to ask why the PTO appeared to have no money and why bills were being paid late. , despite incoming fundraising revenue.
Vang was solely responsible for all funds in the PTO account and was the only one with access to the account and the ability to issue checks from the account to herself.
Brown Deer School District Business and Finance Director Jeff Serak discovered in March 2019 that the PTO account balance at the end of that month was $1,139, which was a big departure from the $42,040. $ reported by Vang at the end of March. Bank statements showed Vang wrote himself 71 checks from the PTO account from January 2013 to March 2019, for a total of $59,236.
It also appears that Vang tried to repay some of the money she took by depositing large sums into the PTO account. Vang’s husband wired $32,600 to the account.
PTO changed policies
The PTO has been cooperative, according to the district, and has revised its financial practices to include updated bylaws requiring an annual external audit of their accounts and appropriate financial controls to prevent further mismanagement of funds raised by the group. volunteers. All known embezzled funds have been returned to Brown Deer Elemental PTO.