Northern Berks PTO officer charged in theft of more than $51,000

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Sep. 26—A former officer with the Perry Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization has been charged with unauthorized spending of more than $51,000 of the PTO’s funds, according to state police.

Alison Haines was charged Tuesday with felony theft and access device fraud. She turned herself in and was arraigned before District Judge Kim Bagenstose before being released on bail, troopers said.

Perry Elementary is in the Hamburg School District.

Troopers gave this account:

On Sept. 11, members of the Perry PTO came to the Hamburg state police station to report a theft of funds.

Through a self-audit of bank records, PTO members discovered a significant amount of unauthorized transactions made by Haines.

The transactions, dating back to 2019, were made using a business debit card assigned to Haines by the PTO.

Bank records and receipts showed Haines frequently made purchases at Walmart and Aldi in Hamburg, as well as shopping on Amazon and making a significant amount of cash withdrawals from local ATMs.

The PTO members reported a total of $51,549 in unauthorized transactions.

Haines was interviewed by state police and admitted to taking the money for personal use and to pay bills.

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