PTO member charged with embezzlement
Posted: October 12, 2012
The Winchester Star
STEPHENS CITY — For the second time in two years, a member of the Bass-Hoover Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization has been indicted on embezzlement charges.
Catherine Martin, 40, of Stephens City, was indicted Oct. 4 on two counts of embezzlement. She is the treasurer of Bass-Hoover’s PTO, according to Capt. Allen Sibert with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
On May 15, officers received a call from the president of the organization, who said that Martin had embezzled money.
Sibert would not disclose the amount, but called it a “substantial sum of money that was missing.”
Officials with Frederick County Public Schools said PTOs and other similar groups are responsible for their own financial activities and record keeping.
“Parent teacher organizations, booster clubs and other parent-led organizations are financially independent groups...” said Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy, records management and communications for the division.
Martin allegedly embezzled money from August 2011 to March 2012 — and used it for personal use — but no additional information was available, according to Sibert.
Martin was booked and released on $2,500 unsecured bond on Monday. Her next hearing date is Dec. 6.
In February, Shawn Marie Bianco, 44, of Stephens City was indicted by a grand jury for 25 charges of embezzlement from three groups: Bass-Hoover Elementary School and Robert E. Aylor Middle School in Frederick County and the Georgetowne Court homeowners association.
Bianco is the former president of the PTO at Bass-Hoover. According to a search warrant filed in February 2011 in Frederick County Circuit Court, she admitted to the treasurer that she had embezzled $18,000 while she was president.
It is not known whether the treasurer that Bianco spoke with was Martin, or how long Martin has been the treasurer of the school’s PTO.
According to Sibert, the Martin and Bianco cases are unrelated.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at firstname.lastname@example.org