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PTA Money Missing at Fuquay Middle School

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FUQUAY-VARINA — More than $4,000 dollars of money raised by thePTAatFuquay-Varina Middle Schoolis missing.

The shortfall can be traced to a candy sale in the fall of 1997. The PTSA made a profit of $4,300, but the books show a profit of only $116. Where the money went is a mystery.

The most recent audit found insufficient record-keeping and concluded that there could either be missing funds or inaccurately recorded receipts of funds. The case has been turned over to the state, which sees about a dozen cases like this each year.

"All in all, it's not that many," says State PTA Treasurer Kathy Latta, "but each and every time it hurts the name of the PTA and all of the good works that all the others are trying to do."

Latta says many times parents are simply unprepared for the task of record-keeping. Other times, there's possible criminal activity.

Lamont Scott Preston, the former president of the Vance Elementary School PTA, goes to court next month for allegedly embezzling $13,000.

Latta says anytime there is a possibility of embezzlement, the case must be turned over to law enforcement.

Many are hoping that will not be necessary in the Fuquay-Varina case. But at least one parent feels an investigation is long overdue.

"It should have been done a long time ago so that our members could get on with our business and do what's right for the middle school," says parent Jerry Diehl.

State auditors say local PTSAs would not have financial problems if they followed the strict by-laws that include two signatures on every check, and an audit once a year.

The state will review the latest case and send recommendations back to the local PTSA board.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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