Greenville woman charged in PTO embezzlement

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:57 am on Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Laura Outen

STANTON — A woman will appear in court for a preliminary examination after allegedly embezzling from the Walnut Hills Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) in Greenville.

Laura Suzanne Outen, 34, of Greenville, was arraigned and charged on March 1 with embezzlement of $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization — a felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or $15,000. Outen also is charged with uttering and publishing, a felony with a maximum sentence of 14 years.

A preliminary exam is scheduled for March 19 in 64B District Court in Stanton.

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.

According to Greenville Depart-ment of Public Safety Director Michael Pousak, Outen and her attorney were informed of an arrest warrant issued on Feb. 13, which resulted in Outen voluntarily turning herself in at the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 15.

Pousak said the missing amount is believed to be between $12,000 and $18,000.

According to Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Peter Haines, 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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