Southside Elementary Parent Teacher Organization Volunteer Charged After Stealing Checks

SARASOTA, Fla. -- August 3, 2017 -- 10 a.m.

Tiffani Donovan, 48, of Sarasota, has been charged with 11 counts of Uttering a Forged Check and one (1) count of Scheme to Defraud after she stole checks made payable to Southside Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and deposited them in her personal bank accounts.

In May 2017, members of the Southside Elementary PTO came to the Sarasota Police Department to report missing funds.  Members of the PTO explained to Officers that the PTO has several different organizations within the PTO that all solicit and collect funds.

According to the PTO, one of the groups raising money, the “Southside Business Partners,” learned of the missing funds, which included stolen checks.  Payment process for the PTO included checks and cash that were sent by parents and brought to the school by their children or they were dropped off at the office of the school.  They were then placed in an open mail slot in an unsecured area of the office.

The PTO started to investigate the matter of stolen checks through emails to committee members and through questions at PTO meetings.  The bank of first deposit was established on stolen checks.  The personal information on the account belonged to Donovan.

Between July 4, 2016 and December 17, 2016, 11 checks were deposited into the personal account of Donovan totaling $7,325.  All of the checks were never deposited into the PTO’s account.  Every one of the 11 checks were made payable to the Southside PTO and hand endorsed by Donovan. 

Donovan was arrested on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 and transported to the Sarasota County Jail. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.  Anyone with information on this case, please call Civilian Investigator Melody Shimmell at 941-954-7032 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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Tiffani Donovan, 48, of Sarasota

Tiffani Donovan, 48, of Sarasota