What to do when a Mom Steals up to $25k from your PTA?

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It happened again.  A woman, Kelli Angela Ridgway, has been charged with stealing money from the PTA at an Overland Park Elementary School.  Before her mug shot, she looked like any other mom volunteering her time on the PTA.   This theft happened in November 2016 from the PTA at John Diemer Elementary School in Kansas.  Considering she was just arrested, almost 2 years went by before the theft was discovered, evidence collected, police contacted and felony charges brought.  Two years is a long time when it comes to PTA’s.  Without organizational framework around the PTA, discovering fraud or theft by trusted volunteers or board members is really difficult.  Time goes buy and the money is long gone.

If your PTA doesn’t have organizational framework allowing you to search the documents and communications, then you should put a framework in place.  Since you don’t have one now, culling together documents and emails from others is the only recourse.  You’ll have to spend significant time getting this documentation together so that you can figure out how much was taken, and how to prevent it from happening again.  In order to make a complaint with the police you’ll have to have some evidence of the theft or fraud organized so that it can be presented.  If that evidence is not inside your PTA’s organizational framework then its time to put one in place and begin to put the historical pieces together inside the framework.

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