The treasurer of a Macon elementary school’s Parent Teacher Organization was arrested Thursday, accused of stealing nearly $34,000 in PTO funds.
Eloise Maxine Reid, 47, was charged with fiduciary theft for allegedly writing checks from the Vineville Academy PTO’s checking account.
The checks were made payable to herself and her accounting firm, investigators said.
Over the past several months, since about April 2013, Reid wrote at least 17 checks, draining the PTO’s account of $33,975, authorities said. The alleged theft was discovered in recent days.
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According to Bibb County campus police, Reid wrote a bad check for $1,800 last week. When the check bounced, investigators said, the bank called the school’s principal, Kristy Graham, telling her there was less than $1,000 in the PTO account.
The account was supposed to have more than $30,000.
When PTO president and former treasurer Sherita Hicks learned how little money was left in the account, she “was dumbfounded,” the report noted.
Graham told campus police that in recent months parents at the school had wondered “where PTO money was being used,” a police report said.
The principal said money had been collected for playground equipment “which had never materialized,” the report noted.
At one point, Graham asked about the PTO’s financial status, and Reid provided her with “a typed ledger style document, which indicated that the account had in excess of $45,000.” Graham asked to see PTO bank statements to verify that document, but they were never provided, the police report said.
Reid’s LinkedIn page, which says she has been an accountant since 2001, lists her as CEO of a company called Divine Business Solutions & Services.
Investigators said it is a Warner Robins-based business, though online listings for the company bear the address of her Dapleton Drive home in southwest Macon.
Her LinkedIn page also shows her as being Vineville Academy PTO treasurer since 2009, a position in which, the page notes, it was her duty to “balance and reconcile all accounts each month.”
Police, however, said Reid had only been PTO treasurer since spring 2013.
It was unclear whether Reid has or had children attending the arts specialty school at 2260 Vineville Ave., with a kindergarten-through-fifth-grade enrollment of about 500 students.
When a reporter went to Reid’s house Wednesday evening to ask about the alleged missing funds, a man who identified himself as her husband said she was at church. The man said she would “make a statement” later.
Reid was being held at the Bibb jail Thursday afternoon on $35,000 bond.