FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING $4K IN PTSA MONEY
Defendant allegedly also pawned PSS laptop for $150
A former vice president of Kagman Elementary School’s Parents Teachers and Students Association was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly stealing the PTSA’s fundraising money totaling $4,442.34 and pawning a Public School System laptop for $150.
Office of the Public Auditor investigator Thelma M. Mizer disclosed in her report that Priscilla T. Castro, 49, who was the then-vice president of Kagman PTSA during the 2012-2013 school year, admitted to having spent all of the PTSA’s money for her daughter’s graduation party, her house, her husband’s poker habit, and personal use.
Mizer said that Castro also admitted to pawning a Sony notebook computer owned by PSS for $150 at 24 Hours Pink House Pawn Shop in Chalan Kanoa, reportedly to buy food for her family.
At yesterday’s bail hearing, Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman kept the $10,000 cash bail imposed on Castro and barred her from having any contact with Kagman Elementary School and from participating in any fundraising or holding public funds.
Preliminary hearing will be on April 17 at 9am.
Wiseman noted that Castro has numerous small claims pending in court for over 10 to 12 years, and has forgery and other criminal charges.
Police served Castro with an arrest warrant on Tuesday in Kannat Tabla on charges of theft and possession or removal of government property.
OPA investigator Mizer stated in her report that, on Aug. 11, 2014, PSS legal counsel Tiberius Mocanu provided OPA with information and documents relating to missing $4,442.34 funds, that were under the custody of then-Kagman Elementary School PTSA vice president Castro.
The funds were raised during the school’s annual Cultural Day in June 2013.
Mocanu said that Castro admitted to using the funds for personal reasons and did not make the deposit to the PTSA account with a bank.
Mocanu also disclosed that Castro had with her one of PSS’ laptops that was assigned to her and used for Kagman Elementary School’s PTSA purposes and that she had pawned it.
Mizer said that during her interview with Castro on Oct. 9, 2014, she admitted that she used the $4,442.34 to pay for her daughter’s graduation party, gave some of the money to her common-law husband so he could play poker, used $500 to pay for her house, and the rest of the money was spent on personal use.
Mizer said that Castro also admitted pawning the PSS laptop for $150 to buy food for her family and that she intended to get it back but by then it had already been sold.
Castro also stated that Education Commissioner Dr. Rita Sablan informed them that the laptop was theirs to keep, and that she was never informed to return the computer so she assumed it was her personal property.
Mizer said an employee of 24 Hours Pink House Pawn Shop showed her a bill of sale and receipt, showing that Castro pawned the laptop on July 18, 2013. On Nov. 1, 2013, a woman then purchased the same laptop for $400 from the pawnshop. On Sept. 25, 2014, the woman pawned the same laptop back to 24 Hours Pink House’s branch in Garapan.
Mizer said she retrieved the laptop from 24 Hours Pink House Pawn Shop on Oct. 14, 2014.
Mizer said she reviewed the PTSA ledger books, receipts, and bank statements from June through August 2013 and found evidence to suggest that Castro did not deposit any PTSA fundraising money to the PTSA account with the bank either in cash or checks, totaling $4,442.34.
Chief public defender Douglas Hartig was appointed as counsel for Castro.