Another Tennessee PTO President Busted for Alleged Theft

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An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Mallory Parrish, the former president of the Parsons Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) in Decatur County.

Investigators said Parrish stole at least $2,193 from the PTO between January 1, 2016 and October 15, 2018, when she resigned as the PTO President.

Parrish allegedly stole the money by making $1,000 worth of undocumented cash withdrawals, making unauthorized personal purchases totaling $715 at Walmart, and failing to deposit $478 in cash collected during a fundraising event. In October 2018, Parrish paid back $1,000 to the PTO, leaving a total cash shortage of $1,193, according to Comptrollers.

Investigators also said Parrish allegedly forged the treasurer’s signature on six reimbursement checks that she wrote to herself, and she used PTO funds for questionable purchases totaling an additional $1,097.88.

In January 2020, Mallory Parrish was indicted by the Decatur County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $1,000 and two counts of forgery.

“Our investigators noted several internal control weaknesses that contributed to this theft,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson.

“School support organizations, such as PTOs, are required to follow some common-sense financial practices. These include requiring two signatures on checks, reviewing and reconciling bank statements, and retaining supporting documentation for purchases.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last year,  authorities indicted the former president of the Jasper Elementary Parent Teacher Organization on a theft charge after school system officials found and reported questionable transactions.

This, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released last year, referring to Amber Bailey.

During her tenure as president, Bailey maintained total control of the funds collected during PTO fundraisers and other events.

Bailey allegedly used PTO funds to purchase or to reimburse herself for a folding canopy, drill, garment steamer, and folding tables, which she kept, according to the audit.

The Marion County School System recognizes the Jasper Elementary PTO as a school support organization. The PTO’s fundraising efforts provide additional financial support for activities at Jasper Elementary School, auditors wrote.

As The Tennessee Star reported last November, the former president of Cumberland Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization in Nashville allegedly stole nearly $18,000 from the school.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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