The 40-year-old suspect was the treasurer for the Franklin Elementary School’s Home and School Association in Franklin Borough, NJ. As treasurer, the suspect had immediate access to group money.
According to authorities, the suspect used checks, debit cards, and credit cards from the school association to cover her personal expenses. From July 2014 to January 2015, the suspect allegedly used group funds to buy food, gas, and home goods. She even allegedly used the group’s money to pay for her family members’ legal expenses.
Sometime after being arrested and charged, the suspect applied for entry into the New Jersey Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. The Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office rejected her request for entry into the probationary program.
Now the suspect plans to appeal the decision. According to the suspect’s defense attorney, the New Jersey judiciary’s criminal division already approved her for entry into the PTI program.
PTI allows first-time, non-violent criminal offenders the opportunity to avoid prison and instead undergo rehabilitation. If the offender completes all of the PTI program requirements, the charges against them are dismissed.
If the suspect in this case is unable to secure entry into PTI, she will likely face significant criminal penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4, anyone who uses deception or fraud to steal more than $500 can be charged with a third degree felony. A conviction for third degree theft could result in a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.
To learn more about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “Woman Accused of Stealing $8,000 from Home-School Association Wants PTI.”