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Former Star Center PTO treasurer guilty of theft

August 07, 2013 | 02:42 PM
The former treasurer of the Star Center School PTO pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $10,000 from the group.

Katherine A. Tworek, 46, N1695 Mallow Place,Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft from a business setting.

She was sentenced to three years of probation. A condition of her probation is that she must serve 30 days in jail with work-release privileges.

She also must obtain counseling as recommended by her probation agent, provide a DNA sample, pay court cost and restitution in the amount of $11,114.26.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Oct. 30, 2012, a Bloomfield police officer went to Star Center School to take a theft complaint.

The officer met with principal Lidalyn Tennessen and PTO president Kathleen Seeberg.

Tennessen said that while going through the school's budget she noticed a missing payment from the PTO.

Tennessen contacted Tworek about the missing payment but wasn't given a satisfactory reason why the payment wasn't made.

Tworek had been the PTO treasurer since October 2011.

After learning of the missing payment, Seeberg retrieved the PTO's bank statements. Seeberg identified several debit transactions and withdrawals that were not authorized including:

n A Nov. 23, 2011, ATM withdrawal for $350.

n A Nov. 25, 2011, check to the defendant for $482.50.

n A Dec. 2, 2011, withdrawal for $900.

n A May 31, 2012, withdrawal for $825 for a money order to Kalex Realty Group.

n A June 29, 2012, withdrawal for $1,000, which included making a money order out to a realty group.

Seeberg also stated that there were transactions made to Walmart, Dunn Lumber, Goodwill and Target during the summer months when the PTO isn't spending much money.

During a meeting with Seeberg and Tennessen, Tworek admitted to using the PTO's debit card to pay for an electric bill because her wallet had been stolen.

Tworek said she also took some money to reimburse herself for cookbooks that she had purchased for the PTO.

The school purchases cookbooks from a company named Morris.

Morris reports that neither the PTO nor Tworek purchased cookbooks from them.

On Jan. 7, Tworek met with a Bloomfield police officer.

During that meeting, Tworek admitted to using the PTO's debit card to pay her rent, her electric bill and her gas bill. Tworek told police said she had received permission to do this, but Seeberg told the officer Tworek was never given permission to use the PTO's funds to pay personal bills.

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