ELIZABETHTON — A Carter County grand jury has indicted a former school bookkeeper on theft and official misconduct charges following accusations that she took more than $8,500 from school coffers and falsified records to cover up the thefts.
Tabitha Street, former bookkeeper at Valley Forge Elementary School, misappropriated at least $8,542 in various collections from the school and manipulated school records to conceal the thefts between July 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, the state Comptroller's Office said in a news release.
Street was accused of using a check-swapping scheme, in which certain checks payable to the school were intentionally not recorded into the school’s computer accounting system. Later, she removed cash from school deposits and used the unrecorded checks to replace the cash she had taken.
Additionally, investigators found that Street failed to record and deposit at least $2,317 in cash collections specifically related to the school’s 2009 gourmet fundraiser and spring 2010 candy sale fundraiser.
Information uncovered during an audit was referred to the local district attorney general’s office, and Street was indicted last month on one count of theft over $1,000 and one count of official misconduct.
The audit, which was released today, also found the school lacked proper safeguards in its collections and financial record keeping and also failed to prepare and maintain profit analysis reports for resale or fundraising activities.