WEST CARROLLTON — UPDATE @ 9:05 p.m. (Sept. 15): Amy Wyatt-Brown, the former West Carrollton Band Boosters treasurer, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in her initial court appearance on felony theft charges.
A judge released Wyatt-Brown on her own recognizance -- her promise she would return for court appearances in the case.
EARLIER REPORT (Sept 14)
A former West Carrollton Band Boosters treasurer is due in court tomorrow after she was indicted on two felony charges accusing her of stealing around $65,000 from the organization.
It’s the second time since 2016 that police have been called on to investigate possible embezzlement involving a member of the boosters, records show.
Amy Wyatt-Brown, 48, was indicted on grand theft and theft charges by a Montgomery County Grand Jury.
The accusations of theft are said to have been committed between Jan. 1, 2016 and June 29, 2019, according to the indictment. The theft was discovered by a treasurer that came to the organization after Wyatt-Brown had left the organization.
A search warrant affidavit shows the current treasurer of the organization, while looking at accounts for the band boosters, “noticed the balances were lower than they should be” and also “noted odd transfers between the Fifth Third Bank savings and checking account with limited details.”
The affidavit lists numerous withdraws from ATMs around southern Montgomery County using the band boosters accounts, including withdraws ranging from hundreds of dollars to more than a thousand dollars. The affidavit also showed that between April 2018 and June 2019, over $7,800 in checks were made payable to Wyatt.
The search warrant affidavit shows the boosters' board members had requested financial records from Wyatt in the spring of 2019. The warrant affidavit said Wyatt had “yet to turn over any equipment or financial documents to the West Carrollton Band Boosters" in November 2019.
The search warrant was served on Nov. 19, when police seized laptops, a cash box with debit/credit cards, a box of blank West Carrollton Band Boosters checks and other documentation from Wyatt-Brown’s home.
West Carrollton school officials said they were made aware of the possible discrepancies in the bank account when the band booster president contacted the district.
Band Booster President Jenny Koesters “noted that there was no suspicion of wrongdoing when she was elected; however, as time continued, she noted that the Band Booster Treasurer was not always forthcoming with answers to questions regarding the organization’s finances,” the district said in a statement.
The district also said Wyatt-Brown began to “not provide bank statements after multiple requests from Koesters and other members of the Band Boosters Board of Directors. It was also about that time that the Treasurer quit attending meetings.”
It’s the second time West Carrollton police have been contacted to investigate embezzlement claims at the West Carrollton Band Boosters.
In May 2016, then treasurer Wyatt-Brown told police another member of the band boosters misused an account to fund a personal trip to assist with Jeb Bush’s campaign for President, according to a West Carrollton police report. That case was closed after the band boosters member paid back the $10,116.21 through a court-ordered diversion program.
A diversion program is a deferred prosecution program for first-time, non-violent felony offenders. If defendants successfully complete the program, charges are formally dismissed and defendants avoid felony convictions on their record, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.
The West Carrollton Band Boosters are a 501c3 non-profit organization with a board of directors.
According to the district, revenue and expenditures from the organization are not a part of the school district and therefore, not audited by the school district.
“Our booster groups provide great services to our students, and we were disappointed to hear the Band Boosters experienced a financial loss that ultimately affects kids,” said West Carrollton Schools Superintendent Andrea Townsend.
Wyatt-Brown is scheduled for her arraignment on the felony charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday morning.
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