Parent Teacher Club member embezzled money from elementary school's group

Parents are demanding answers after reports of embezzlement at an Orangevale school's Parent Teacher Club.

Oakview Community Elementary School is asking parents to attend a special meeting of the PTC Tuesday night to explain how forged signatures and stolen checks could impact students.

The PTC and school officials remain tight-lipped about many of the details, but what they will say is that a trusted person embezzled thousands of dollars raised by the community.

Oakview parents didn't know what to think when they started getting recorded phone messages that began, "Good evening Oakview families. This is your PTC president Shelby Penman. It is with a heavy heart that I need to inform you we have discovered embezzlement and illegal activity, which has resulted in a substantial loss of funds from our PTC financial account."

Penman said the PTC discovered last Tuesday forged signatures on documents and stolen checks that amounted to thousands of dollars.

"We were in a panic. We were upset. We were heart-broken," Penman said.

Throughout the year, the group holds fundraisers to pay for books, computers, field trips and other areas where official school funding falls short.

"I've seen students take pennies from their pockets and put it in our coin drive, and I've seen parents who might not even be able to spare $5 go ahead and give it towards their child's education," Penman said.

After calling a special meeting late Tuesday afternoon to inform parents, Penman said the person responsible met with school officials and investigators.

"We have had successful recovery of all of the funds, so we're actually really grateful, and we're very relieved that we're going to be able to go ahead with the year as we had planned," Penman said.

Penman won't identify the person responsible, but insists that person will now have to answer to law enforcement.

"At this point the PTC is no longer involved in it. It has now become a criminal investigation, Penman said.

The planned special meeting of the PTC will still take place Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The school district said they will work with the PTC to ensure best practices with the hope of preventing future embezzlement.


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