Ind. AG sues former school treasurer over missing funds

Bryan Cohen Apr. 11, 2012, 1:55pm


MUNCIE, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a lawsuit on Wednesday against the former extracurricular treasurer of Delta High School for allegedly misappropriating more than $10,000 in fees for textbook rentals.

Zoeller's lawsuit is an effort to recover money from Debra True and to reimburse the school corporation. True was the extracurricular treasurer at the Muncie school from July 2008 to November 2010.

After parents made payments for textbook rental fees, True was responsible for depositing the funds into the bank. After auditing the school's finances and comparing deposit slips and receipts, the State Board of Accounts found that True received $10,727.24 more in cash and checks than she deposited in the school's account during the school years of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

Because the funds are still missing and unaccounted for, the SBOA issued a certified audit report that allegedly discovered that True misappropriated the money. The audit requires True to repay the missing funds.

"For many families with school-age children, textbook rental fees are a costly expense each school year, and parents dig into their pockets to pay these fees," Zoeller said. "This individual betrayed the trust of parents, students and taxpayers, and my office will seek to recover these funds from her to reimburse the school treasury."

Zoeller's office filed the lawsuit on Tuesday against True in Delaware County Circuit Court Four. The suit asks the court for a civil judgment of $10,727.24 against True, attorneys' fees and costs, prejudgment interest and triple damages. The court granted Zoeller's motion for a temporary restraining order on Tuesday prohibiting True from selling, transferring or concealing any assets. A hearing asking the court to make the temporary restraining order a preliminary injunction to freeze True's assets will occur on April 19. The injunction would freeze True's assets indefinitely to make sure there will be funds available later to reimburse the Delaware Community School Corporation after the lawsuit is resolved.

Ohio Farmers Insurance Company of Westfield Center, Ohio, has also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The company had a $10,000 bond coverage on True for each of the two school years as an insurance policy against employee theft. The suit seeks to redeem the bonds to cover the amounts owed to the public treasury. Any portion not covered by the bonds would be the personal responsibility of the defendant.

Debra True has allegedly used several aliases and at various times had addresses in Greenfield and Union City.

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