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Pasco Tribune

Deputies: Pasco mom stole money from Weightman Middle PTSA

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: May 22, 2013 at 03:38 PM

A Wesley Chapel woman was arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing more than $3,000 from a middle school Parent Teacher Student Association account for her own use.

Between Feb. 1, 2012 and Feb. 28 of this year, Jocelyn Ann Severson, 49, 8933 McKendree Road, while serving as the Weightman Middle School PTSA treasurer, took at least $3,928 from the account to pay for her cell phone, high speed Internet and car insurance, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.

Severson, who also served as a board member of the middle school, did so in 14 different transactions, deputies said. To conceal her actions, Severson, a hairdresser, changed the mailing address of the banking statements to go to her home, according to the arrest report.

The payments ranged from $163 to $665.

Once she received the statements, she would alter the paperwork, taking her transactions off the statements, deputies said. She also adjusted the balances.

She was asked to supply three months of missing bank statements to the PTSA’s president, Margarita Stripling, during an audit meeting. From January through March, Severson never produced the statements and instead gave excuses for not having them.

Stripling went to the bank and discovered money was missing and the statements Severson provided had been altered.

At one point, Severson told Stripling there was $8,700 in the account. When Stripling went to the bank to confirm the amount, only $656 was in the account, the report said.

A bank employee reviewed the statements Severson gave to the PTSA and confirmed they were altered to show a higher balance.

Severson told investigators she used the money because of financial hardship and she intended on paying the money back.

She put off several meetings with PTSA members and investigators saying she was in Venice taking care of her ailing mother.

Severson was charged with a count of scheming to defraud. She was released from the Land O’ Lakes Jail on Tuesday after posting a $5,000 bond.

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