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Sarasota woman charged after stealing checks from Parent Teacher Organization

Tiffani Donovan
Posted at 10:45 AM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 09:11:58-04

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – The Sarasota Police Department arrested a volunteer after she allegedly deposited checks that were made payable to a school into her own personal bank accounts.

On Wednesday, Tiffani Donovan, 48, of Sarasota, was charged with 11 counts of Uttering a Forged Check and one 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.

Funds were reported missing to police by members of the Southside Elementary PTO in May 2017. According to the PTO, one of the groups raising money, the “Southside Business Partners,” learned of the missing funds, which included stolen checks. 

The checks are sent by parents and brought to school by their children. Then, the children drop the checks off at the office of the school, which is an open mail slot in an unsecured area of the office.

Members of the PTO started to investigate by emailing committee members and by asking questions at PTO meetings. They discovered the bank of first deposit on the stolen checks and the account belonged to Donovan.

Between July 4, 2016 and December 17, 2016, 11 checks were deposited into the personal account of Donovan, even though they were made payable to Southside PTO. The total amount came to $7,325. 

Donovan was booked at 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