$20K stolen from school

Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby RustyCrayon » Jan 7th, 2019, 8:02 pm

So this has happened at 2 local schools, and then there's the woman who stole from the local hospice. Is it just me or does it seem like these types of thefts are happening more often?

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby GordonH » Jan 7th, 2019, 8:12 pm

Fancy wrote:The thieves are known and removed from their position. That's a start.


Well then charge them as criminals
When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you.

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby GordonH » Jan 7th, 2019, 8:19 pm

GordonH wrote:Who ever has taken the money should be found & charged, have their day in court. If found guilty then sentence to jail, end of story.
Anyone else thinking of doing the same thing, will think twice.

my5cents wrote:Yes, but you know that's not going to happen. They are down on their luck, they this, they that, came from a broken family etc etc. $500 fine with time to pay and 2 years probation.

Someone who steals from this type of organization, while pretending to be caring for it's assets should be held to a higher standard than your "good old" run of the mill thief but it's not going to happen.

This is Canada.


This is what's wrong with the Canadian justice system, no actual consequences for illegal activities.
Just a light slap on the wrist, please don't do that again.
When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you.

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby my5cents » Jan 8th, 2019, 11:25 am

I've never been involved in one of these organizations, but I assume, being volunteer, when someone steps forward and agrees to be the treasurer the rest are relieved they didn't have to do it.

If a second signature is required I can see the treasurer coaxing that person to pre-sign some cheques for "efficiency" sake.

The treasurer give a report every once in a while and nobody actually takes a look at the books and the bank statements.

In this day and age of pdf files and Excel spreadsheets, it'd be nothing to electronically send all the board members a report once a month. IF those volunteers were at all savvy to computers.

Here's the solution :

    Criminal breach of trust


    336 Every one who, being a trustee of anything for the use or benefit, whether in whole or in part, of another person, or for a public or charitable purpose, converts, with intent to defraud and in contravention of his trust, that thing or any part of it to a use that is not authorized by the trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby kelbear25 » Jan 8th, 2019, 1:42 pm

To clear up a few things. Hot lunch programs are fundraisers for PACs and not the responsibility of the district. There are brown bag lunch programs for children in need administered by the district but that is separate from the PAC. PACs get their funds from BC gaming funds (to be used for field trips) and fundraising funds. It wouldn't be uncommon for a PAC account to have 20K or more. Often PACs are working towards long term fundraising for larger purchases for the school. And gaming funds tend to be issued in the fall, with most field trip expenses not occurring until the spring.
Beyond the issue of check signing and oversight, if PACs do a lot of cash fundraisers money could go missing quite easily. For ease for parents, to reduce risk, and reduce treasurer time for deposits, many school PACs are switching to paypal for money transfers. I think this is great idea to help minimize risk.
PACs depend on volunteers to fill the executive positions. and often schools have a hard time filling even 4 exec positions. (for example, ideally the treasurer writes the check and the president and vice president both sign)
Ultimately parents need to hold PACs accountable but also be willing to be involved and volunteer. The more people involved should help to provide more oversight.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby amomof2dogs » Jan 8th, 2019, 2:09 pm

These latest two incidents are not new to PACs theft. Way back when my (now adult) kids were in elementary school there was a theft by the treasurer of about $3000. Although there was ample proof that the treasurer wrote cheques to himself and his wife, then cashed them, the RCMP at the time did not pursue charges as there was no likelyhood of conviction. This same man was also stealing from the local scout group at the same time and they lost lots more than the school PAC. Unfortunately the scout group didn't want any bad publicity about the theft and chose not to take it to the RCMP. The man left the neighbourhood and moved to a different area of Kelowna. We certainly informed the PAC at his kid's new school to not let him or his wife be in charge of money.

Having served on school PACs for over 15 years at the school and district level I can assure that this is not a rare occurrence. The best way to prevent these thefts from occurring is to have solid proceedures and reporting requirements. Ensuring that proper financial statements are produced for every PAC meeting with the original bank statement for all accounts, available for all members to see should be a requirement of all PAC by-laws. Having 2 people sign for all transactions, no signed blank cheques, ever. Having at least 2 unrelated people count and verify incoming cash. Checks and balances to verify payments and order form totals match. Some may think the bylaws are too strict and foster an air of mistrust but when large amounts of cash that are meant to benefit students are involved, trust no one and hold each person accountable to follow the rules.
I think, therefore we are different.

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby jasond_71 » Jan 8th, 2019, 9:46 pm

Hungry kids are very common at our school, kids with one change of clothes etc.

Much of the funds come from gaming grants, schools apply to the government for the grant which comes from casinos lottery funds etc. Depending on the size of the school it could be $10,000 plus fundraising so $20,000 is not unusual. It's used for field trips, computers, playground equipment etc.
At our school the school secretary also controls the bank account so that's a double check. I'm surprised they all don't do that, it would be impossible to embezel unless the school secretary was in on it.
They should probably change the rules so a school staff member also signs off like the principal school secretary and one PAC member?
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby amomof2dogs » Jan 9th, 2019, 9:57 am

jasond_71 wrote:At our school the school secretary also controls the bank account so that's a double check. I'm surprised they all don't do that, it would be impossible to embezel unless the school secretary was in on it.
They should probably change the rules so a school staff member also signs off like the principal school secretary and one PAC member?


The whole point of a Parent Advisory Council is that it is independent from the school and district. School staff and administration should not have any control over the bank accounts or running of the PAC.
I think, therefore we are different.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby the truth » Jan 9th, 2019, 10:00 am

jasond_71 wrote:Hungry kids are very common at our school, kids with one change of clothes etc.

Much of the funds come from gaming grants, schools apply to the government for the grant which comes from casinos lottery funds etc. Depending on the size of the school it could be $10,000 plus fundraising so $20,000 is not unusual. It's used for field trips, computers, playground equipment etc.
At our school the school secretary also controls the bank account so that's a double check. I'm surprised they all don't do that, it would be impossible to embezel unless the school secretary was in on it.
They should probably change the rules so a school staff member also signs off like the principal school secretary and one PAC member?



lots of kids go to school hungry for sure :cry: to bad most of the parents i saw complain they had no money to buy food for there kids are the same ones smoking a pack a day :swear: :cuss:
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby GordonH » Jan 9th, 2019, 10:36 am

jasond_71 wrote:At our school the school secretary also controls the bank account so that's a double check. I'm surprised they all don't do that, it would be impossible to embezel unless the school secretary was in on it.
They should probably change the rules so a school staff member also signs off like the principal school secretary and one PAC member?

amomof2dogs wrote:The whole point of a Parent Advisory Council is that it is independent from the school and district. School staff and administration should not have any control over the bank accounts or running of the PAC.

I have no issue PAC being independent. Theft is theft, those responsible for taking this funds need to face the consequences of their actions. That means being charged & having their day in court.
When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Fancy » Jan 9th, 2019, 11:09 am

amomof2dogs wrote:The whole point of a Parent Advisory Council is that it is independent from the school and district. School staff and administration should not have any control over the bank accounts or running of the PAC.

Is it possible the school secretary is a member of the PAC?
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Piecemaker » Jan 9th, 2019, 11:20 am

If the school secretary had children attending the same school, then yes.
It's possible to do all the right things and still get a bad result.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Fancy » Jan 9th, 2019, 11:36 am

Which is why I was asking - it would be easy enough for a school secretary to take on the job if she was a member.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Piecemaker » Jan 9th, 2019, 11:49 am

The administrative staff at school have their own jobs to do. The PAC is an organization made up of parents of children attending the school. Usually a small group of parents. All positions on the PAC are volunteer. The "school secretary" could just as easily steal from the PAC funds as anyone else.
Every organization needs to have proper financial controls in place.
The issue is that many people do not have the knowledge or experience regarding financial safeguards.

Misappropriation of funds happens at ALL levels of all types of businesses and organizations.
It's possible to do all the right things and still get a bad result.

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Fancy » Jan 9th, 2019, 11:56 am

I am well aware of what's entailed. Many people volunteer as well as do their jobs. It was a simple question.
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