Greenville woman arrested in PTO case

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:40 pm on Friday, February 15, 2013

GREENVILLE — A Greenville woman will be arraigned on March 1 for two charges relating to the embezzlement of the Walnut Hills Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) fund.

On Wednesday, the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for the former PTO treasurer Laura Suzanne Outen, 34, of Greenville.

According to Greenville Department of Public Safety Director Michael Pousak, Outen and her lawyer were informed of the warrant and it resulted in Outen voluntarily turning herself in at the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office Friday.

Because she was able to post a $500 cash/surety bond Friday, she will be arraigned on March 1.

The charges she will be arraigned on included embezzlement of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization, a 10-year felony, along with uttering and publishing, a 14-year felony.

PTO President Christian Sowers said while he was reviewing accounts, he found charges he didn’t understand and noted potential inconsistencies in the applications of procedures.

On Jan. 11 a complaint was filed with the Greenville Department of Public Safety.

Pousak confirmed to The Daily News on Jan. 17 his department received a report from the PTO and was investigating an embezzlement. He said at the time, the missing amount was believed to be between $12,000 and $18,000.

Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Peter Haines said PTOs are not directly affiliated with the school and are organizations that provide support for a variety of programs and needs not addressed in school operating budgets.

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