The 40-year-old suspect worked as the treasurer for the Franklin Elementary School’s Home and School Association. As treasurer, the suspect had access to group funds and checks.
According to law enforcement, the suspect used checks from the school association to pay for personal expenses. Among the personal items allegedly purchased by the suspect using school funds were food, gas, and home goods. Prosecutors also allege that the suspect used school funds to pay for the legal expenses of her family members.
The fraudulent activity allegedly occurred between July 2014 and January 2015. The suspect allegedly used checks, debit cards, and credit cards to make the unauthorized purchases.
The suspect initially applied for entry into the New Jersey Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. However, the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office denied her request.
Now the suspect is seeking to appeal the decision because the New Jersey judiciary’s criminal division reportedly approved her for entry into the PTI program.
PTI is a program that allows first-time, non-violent criminal offenders to avoid prison time and instead undergo rehabilitation. It is a form of probation; so long as the offender completes all of the requirements of the program, the charges against them will be dismissed.
If the suspect is not granted entry into PTI, she will be subject to severe criminal penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4, anyone who uses deception or fraud to steal in excess of $500 can be charged with a third degree felony. A conviction on third degree theft charges could lead to a sentence of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
For additional information about this case, see the NJ.com article entitled “Woman Accused of Stealing $8,000 from Home-School Association Wants PTI.”