PTA treasurer accused of stealing from Pinellas elementary to pay bills

Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) – A Parent-Teacher Association treasurer is facing fraud charges after detectives say she stole from Brooker Creek Elementary to pay her bills.

Pinellas County deputies said Lisa McMenamin, 54, of Tarpon Springs, stole PTA funds on at least 10 occasions, between October 2015 and July 2016, taking more than $5,000.

Parents whose children attend Brooker Creek Elementary just learned of her recent arrest.

“Kind of despicable a parent would do something like that,” said parent Steven Sorbie.

Parent Carolina Jantac said, “Unfortunately, there’s people all over everywhere doing the wrong thing, so hopefully that won’t reach our kids at all.”

Investigators said they began their investigation last September, after several members with the PTA came forward with suspicions of fraud.

“We received a complaint for the PTA. They told our investigators that they were missing money, approximately $5,000,” said Corporal Dan DiFrancesco with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives said McMenamin submitted PTA forms for reimbursement for school supplies she never purchased.

When deputies questioned McMenamin in February, she blamed it on bad bookkeeping.

A warrant for her arrest was issued in July.

“Obviously, her explanation wasn’t sufficient and through various investigative techniques, they were able to file charges,” said DiFrancesco.

She was arrested Aug. 4 on charges of scheme to fraud.

“I don’t know why you would steal from any kid, especially elementary school kids. I don’t see any reason to do that,” said Sorbie. “Karma, comes around, gets her. It’s just sucks that she probably stole from her own kid eventually, too.”

Emails for a statement from the school’s PTA president and the Pinellas County Council PTA were not answered.

McMenamin is out on $7,500 bond. She is scheduled to be in court Sept. 11.

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