Police: Woman stole thousands from organizations
Investigators ask other organizations to review their accounting records
BELOIT, Wis. — Beloit police said they have arrested a woman suspected of stealing more than $27,000 from her parent teacher organization and the Beloit Boys & Girls Club.
The Beloit Police Department said it has arrested Holly K. Flanagan, 34, of Beloit, on charges of theft and financial transaction card crimes.
Police said the Beloit Boys & Girls Club was the first to determine that money was missing on Sept. 25.17005762
Police said Flanagan was a part-time office assistant at the Boy’s & Girl’s Club who had access to the club’s credit card number. Police said she used the organization’s credit card for personal use between March and August of 2012. Records revealed that the amount Flanagan charged was nearly $5,400, police said.
The Beloit Boys & Girls Club said it has gotten about 95 percent of the money back through the credit card company, and the club’s leader said he hopes to see the rest of the money soon.
“We didn’t know who it was at the time, so when they came back with a name, we were kind of shocked,” said Fred Buggs, of the Beloit Boys & Girls Club. “It’s an unfortunate situation. We handled it swiftly and I guess minimized the damage. I still feel confident in the work we do at the clubs.”
The Beloit Police Department said it was notified Thursday of a theft of money from the Converse Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization account that had occurred over the last year.
After completing a full audit of the Converse PTO, the amount missing is calculated to be nearly $22,000, according Beloit police.
It’s unclear whether the PTO will be able to recover any of the money. No one involved with the organization over the past couple years returned calls, and police wouldn’t give any more details.
Parents and a school district spokeswoman said Flanagan was active volunteer at Converse Elementary School, where her children attended.
Parent Rebecca Shellenberger, whose children go to the Boys & Girls Club and also Converse Elementary School, said she is looking for answers before she’s willing to give money to the organizations.
“What are your plans to protect our money? Were there signs before this that somebody could’ve picked up on and we could’ve caught? Does it make me think twice to donate? Sure. You got to have a plan to make us as parents feel secure that this isn’t going to happen again,” Shellenberger said.
The Boys & Girls Club said it plans to add oversight on purchases with the credit card. Buggs said he fired Flanagan a week ago as the investigation wrapped up, and now he’s talking about rebuilding trust.
“I will continue to trust people, but whenever that trust is betrayed, you feel like you’ve gotten kicked in the stomach. But you can’t go through life not being able to trust people,” Buggs said.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Beloit School District said the PTO account is separate from the school.
Police said any other community groups or organizations in which Flanagan may have had access to finances are asked to review their accounting records for missing funds. All discrepancies should be reported to the Beloit Police Department for investigation by contacting Capt. Vince Sciame at 608-364-6812.