CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An Elkview mother has been charged with embezzling money from her school's parent-teacher organization.
Staff at Pinch Elementary School contacted Kanawha County sheriff's deputies in April about missing money and fraudulent activity in the school's PTO account, said Lt. Bryan Stover of the sheriff's department.
Stover said deputies began an extensive investigation, talking with school representatives and banking officials.
Deputies arrested Sarah Harless, 33, of Elkview on Monday and charged her with embezzlement, credit card fraud and identity theft, Stover said. Deputies believe Harless, who was PTO vice president and treasurer, embezzled about $13,000 from bank accounts set up with Chase and United banks.
Deputies also believe Harless made fraudulent purchases of more than $8,000 using a PTO account and opened up a fraudulent credit card account on behalf of the PTO, using the card for more than $900 in personal purchases.
Stover said Harless allegedly admitted to using PTO funds for personal gain to pay personal bills and buy things for herself. She also allegedly admitted she failed to pay several vendors who provided services to the PTO.
Harless is free on bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.