By Joe Beck
A Frederick County grand jury has indicted a leader of the Bass-Hoover Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization on embezzlement charges.
This is the second time in more than a year that an officer from that PTO has been indicted.
The two counts issued Oct. 4 against Catherine Elaine Martin accuse her of stealing at least $200 from the organization. She was released from custody Monday on $2,500 unsecured bond.
The indictment states that Martin, 40, of 109 Black Walnut Court, Stephens City, embezzled money from the PTO between Aug. 24, 2011 and Feb. 6.
Capt. Allen Sibert of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said his agency began an investigation into Martin after receiving a phone call from the PTO's president on May 15. Sibert said Martin was treasurer of the PTO at the time of the offenses.
Sibert said the exact amount stolen is "still in dispute."
"It's not $20, but it's not $100,000, either," he added.
Sibert called the case "a straight up embezzlement" that did not require a long, painstaking investigation. He said the investigating deputy's report ran to 30 pages, the majority of which are bank statements and receipts.
Sibert said Martin's case is unrelated to that of Shawn Marie Bianco, who is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 24 on a long list of embezzlement charges involving the Bass-Hoover and Aylor Middle School PTOs. She is a past president of both PTOs, according to court documents.
Authorities have linked Bianco to $18,000 missing from a certificate of deposit in the Bass-Hoover PTO account. Authorities have also connected her to a missing $4,000 certificate of deposit from the Aylor PTO account.
Investigators executing a search warrant of Bianco's home at 109 Georgetowne Court in Stephens City seized a laptop and desktop computer, and various documents from the PTOs, the Sherando Warriors Club, the Georgetowne Homeowners Association, a
Disney World vacation and other papers, according to an inventory list filed in court documents.
The list of charges against Bianco includes several counts of embezzling more than $200 from the Georgetowne Court Homeowner's Association.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org