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Posted February 20, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Indictments returned in PTO thefts

Stephens City woman also charged in loss from homeowners unit

By Candace Sipos -- csipos@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A Stephens City woman who has been under investigation in connection with embezzlement from two county parent-teacher organizations and a homeowner's association was indicted on 26 counts last week.

Shawn Marie Bianco, age unknown, of 109 Georgetowne Court, has been under investigation by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office for more than a year after $22,000 went missing from two PTOs where she used to serve as president, according to court documents.

Catherine Young, then-president of the Bass-Hoover PTO, reported on Feb. 11, 2011, that $18,000 in the form of a certificate of deposit had gone missing from the PTO account, according to a search warrant.

Young told police that Bianco was the former president of the PTO, and held the same position at Aylor Middle School's PTO. She told Deborah Curtis, then treasurer of the Bass-Hoover PTO, about the missing money, and Curtis confronted Bianco, the warrant states.

"Bianco admitted to using the $18,000 to pay for her mortgage because she was going to lose her home," the warrant states.

Investigator Bryce Davis also spoke with Curtis, who confirmed that Bianco had admitted taking the money. Curtis said that Bianco told her, '[You're] not going to find the CD, I took the money out, I cashed it, I had no choice, I needed the money to pay on my house, the bank was going to foreclose on it, My mom was sick and my child needed braces.'"

Bianco also said she took the funds four years prior and asked Curtis not to tell anyone, Curtis told police.

Davis spoke to David Rudy, principal of Aylor Middle School, who told him that Bianco was the president, secretary and treasurer of the PTO on Feb. 11 of last year. The organization was missing a $4,000 CD, Rudy reported.

Authorities searched Bianco's home for electronic devices and any documents related to Frederick County PTOs.

Bianco was also indicted on 11 counts of embezzling $200 or more from the Georgetown Court Homeowner's Association, Inc.

According to the court system's website, Bianco was arrested Feb. 9 and is due in court on all the charges April 5 at 9 a.m.

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