Monday, October 2, 2023

Former Hamburg Elementary PTO Officer Charged with Stealing Over $50,000

A Berks County woman is facing theft charges for stealing over $50,000 from Hamburg Area School District PTO.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police at Hamburg, on September 11th, 2023, the officers of the Perry Elementary PTO reported to State Police that there was a theft of funds from their organization.

Through a self-audit of bank records, officers discovered a significant number of unauthorized transactions made by former officer Alison Haines dating back to 2019. Haines, 39, of Shoemakersville, reportedly took the funds through a business debit card assigned to her by the PTO.

During Haines' time as an officer, little to no record keeping was done to appropriately document all spent PTO funds.

Bank records and receipts show Haines frequently shopped at Walmart - Hamburg, Aldi's - Hamburg, as well as making a significant amount of cash withdrawals from local ATMs. 

The officers reported the total amount of unauthorized transactions to be $51,549.52. Haines was later interviewed by Troopers from the Hamburg Barracks and admitted to using the money for personal reasons and to pay bills.

On September 26th, 2023, 92 charges for felony and misdemeanor level theft and access device fraud were filed at Magisterial District Judge Kim Bagenstose's office. 

Haines turned herself in and was arraigned before being released on $7,5000 unsecured bail.