A Wisconsin FFA alumni chapter ended up $30,000 short after the treasurer allegedly embezzled the money. Elizabeth Pahlow, 32, of Clintonville, is now facing a felony theft charge in the case.
According to WSAU, there were more than 20 transactions from the account from February 2017 to February 2018 for cash withdrawls for Pahlow’s personal use. Investigators said Pahlow confessed to taking the money and said she was planning on paying it back.
The Shawano FFA alumni organization is seeking $32,000 in restitution.
If Pahlow is convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 fine. She is scheduled to be back in court May 22.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time in recent months an FFA chapter has reported missing money. In December, the Iowa State Auditor launched an investigation after a school district reported more than $20,000 not deposited from FFA fruit sales over the past six years.
The special investigation was requested by Maquoketa Community School District officials after concerns were raised that proceeds from a fruit sale fundraiser were not properly collected and deposited by the District’s FFA advisor. State Auditor Mary Mosiman reported the special investigation has identified an estimate of $20,138.45 was uncollected or undeposited for the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2017.
The fruit sale fundraiser is the primary fundraiser for the Maquoketa FFA. Students take orders for fruit from community patrons and the FFA advisor orders fruit from a vendor. Students are responsible for collecting cash and checks at the time of sale, submiting collections to the FFA advisor, and delivering fruit when it is received from the vendor. The advisor is then responsible for tracking purchases and collections received, as well as depositing collections with the Central Office or building secretary.
In the Iowa case, it was not possible to determine if additional collections from fundraisers were not properly deposited during the period reviewed because
adequate records were not available.