NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The co-presidents of the Glencliff Elementary during the 2017-18 school year have been indicted on theft charges for taking nearly $8,000 from the Glencliff Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization’s bank account, according to a news release from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.
The investigation determined that Phillip Nickins and Griselda Castaneda-Camacho, aka Grace Nickins, stole at least $7,818.94 from the PTO bank account.
“School support organizations often fall victim to theft,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said in a news release. “In nearly every case, parent volunteers are trusted to handle money without adequate oversight. School support groups are required to implement basic controls to safeguard funds and property.”
The Comptroller’s Office began its investigation after PTO officials reported that funds had been misappropriated from the PTO bank account.
Investigators determined that Nickins and Castaneda-Camacho stolen the money from the PTO by utilizing the following schemes:
- A PTO debit card was used to make unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals totaling at least $3,789.38. This amount also includes overdraft fees and ATM usage fees.
- The couple made unauthorized personal purchases totaling at least $617.75 using the PTO’s debit card. These purchases included many items such as women’s clothing, a child’s car seat, fast food, online gaming items and pharmaceutical products.
- The couple failed to account for $3,411.81 in PTO sales from a chocolate fundraiser. The fundraiser had the potential for gross sales of at least $13,320 but only $9,908.19 was deposited into the PTO’s bank account.
The investigative report also showed that Castaneda-Camacho presented a falsified bank document to school officials in an attempt to hide the misappropriation. The fictitious document on bank letterhead claimed that a bank error had resulted in the PTO’s account being merged with the couple’s personal account. Bank personnel confirmed the letter was fraudulent.
Nickens and Castaneda-Camacho were each indicted in September by the Davidson County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $2,500 and one count of credit card fraud over $2,500.