Sarasota elementary volunteer accused of cashing $7,000 in PTO checks

Source: Sarasota Police

SARASOTA Fla. (WFLA) – A volunteer with the Southside Elementary Parent Teacher Organization in Sarasota is accused of stealing checks made out to the PTO.

Tiffani Donovan, 48, of Sarasota, was arrested Wednesday and charged with 11 counts of Uttering a Forged Check and one count of Scheme to Defraud after police said took the checks and deposited them in her personal bank accounts.

PTO members noticed the money and checks were missing and reported it to police in May. They told investigators that the PTO has several different organizations within the PTO that all solicit and collect funds.

Some of the checks were sent by parents and brought to the school by their children or they were dropped off at the office of the school.  They were then placed in an open mail slot in an unsecured area of the office.

The deposited checks were traced back to Donovan, police said.

Between July 4, 2016 and Dec. 17, 2016, 11 checks to the Southside PTO were deposited into the personal account of Donovan totaling $7,325, investigators said.

Donovan was taken to the Sarasota County Jail. Additional charges are possible.

Anyone with information on this case, please call Civilian Investigator Melody Shimmell at 941-954-7032 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at


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