Montgomery County OH Sept 16 2020
A former West Carrollton Band Boosters treasurer is scheduled to be in court today after being indicted on two felony charges accusing her of stealing more than $65,000 from the organization.
Amy L. Wyatt-Brown, 48, was indicted on grand theft and theft charges by a Montgomery County grand jury.
The theft accusations allegedly were committed between Jan. 1, 2016, and June 29, 2019, according to the indictment. The theft was discovered by a Wyatt-Brown’s successor, who noted discrepancies in the organization’s finances after Wyatt-Brown departed the organization.
A search warrant was served Nov. 19 at Wyatt-Brown’s Ormand Road home, where police seized two laptops, a cash box with debit/credit cards, a box of West Carrollton Band Boosters blank checks, an iPad, miscellaneous papers, checks and band boosters documents.
A search warrant affidavit shows that Ron Staats, after being appointed the band boosters’ treasurer in June 2019, reviewed accounts for the band boosters and “noticed the balances were lower than they should be and reviewed the monthly statements that were available.”
He also noted “odd transfers between the Fifth Third Bank savings and checking account with limited details.”
Staats also reviewed a separate bank account and noticed multiple checks bearing the same information on the memo line, with the same dollar amount but different payees.
The affidavit also lists numerous withdrawals from ATMs around southern Montgomery County using band boosters accounts between January 2016 and June 2019. It also showed that between April 2018 and June 2019, about $7,853 in checks were made payable to Wyatt-Brown.
The search warrant affidavit shows the boosters’ board members had requested financial records from Wyatt in the spring of 2019. The warrant affidavit said that as of Nov. 13, 2019, Wyatt-Brown had “yet to turn over any equipment or financial documents to the West Carrollton Band Boosters.”
The investigation began in the summer of 2019 and resulted in Wyatt-Brown’s indictment on Sept. 1. Wyatt-Brown is scheduled for an arraignment Tuesday morning on the felony charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
This is the second time since 2016 that police have been asked to investigate possible embezzlement involving a member of the boosters.
In 2016, then-treasurer Wyatt-Brown reported a member of the band boosters embezzled more than $10,000 from the organization, but was able to make restitution via a court-ordered diversion program without objection from the band boosters or the West Carrollton Police Department, according to Greg Flannagan, spokesman for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. As a result, the charges in the case were dismissed, Flannagan said.
The West Carrollton Band Boosters are a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a board of directors.
Revenue and expenditures from the organization are not a part of the school district and therefore, not audited by the school district, according to district officials.
“Our booster groups provide great services to our students, and we were disappointed to hear the Band Boosters experienced a financial loss that ultimately affects kids,” West Carrollton Schools Superintendent Andrea Townsend said in a release.
The West Carrollton School District said it was made aware of possible discrepancies in the Band Boosters bank account by its president, Jenny Koesters, who was elected to the position in summer 2017.
In the release, the district said Koesters noted that “there was no suspicion of wrongdoing” when she was elected, but as time continued, she observed that Wyatt-Brown “was not always forthcoming with answers to questions regarding the organization’s finances.”
By the fall of 2018, Wyatt-Brown would not provide bank statements after multiple requests from Koesters and other members of the Band Boosters board of directors, according to the school district. It was also about that time that Wyatt-Brown quit attending meetings.
Koesters and the Band Boosters board of directors started assembling what information they could to determine account balances and finish out the band season.
“Something about the bank account didn’t seem right,” Koesters said in the release. Although the Band Boosters are a separate entity from the school district, she immediately notified Townsend that there may be a problem. Townsend advised Koesters to immediately contact the West Carrollton police.
“The Band Boosters fully cooperated in a lengthy investigation with the police,” Koesters said in the statement. “The police did a very thorough investigation and we provided them with all pertinent records from our organization.”