Second former PTO official charged with embezzling

^ Posted Oct. 12

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


Are you kidding me...again? Who are these people that think it is ok to steal money from children? I can't believe people are so stupid that after the first one was caught she took over and also started stealing. Where do you find these people? Are people not upset that this person stole money from them and their children? And as long as we look the other way and continue to pretend that things are normal it just says to our children that it is ok to be friends and social with liars and theives. I hear she has/had a job and was involved with the local little league, wonder how those accounts are looking? If people can steal from children and friends they can steal from anybody. According to the articles this was not from a medical need it was just straight up stealing and greed.

^momofthree , why do you think people wouldn't care this happened not once but twice? I would think anyone involved with that school would want to see justice served and lessons taught, for their children's sake! Often times, parents hide behind their computer instead if getting involved in their child's school, it's really easy to say what should have been done, but unless you were there to help and could have prevented you can't condemn anyone but the guilty parties! As a mom myself I hope to see this woman and the Bianco lady nailed to the wall and be forced to pay back every dime!!! Our teachers and schools depend on that money and are now suffering due to greed!

I agree with both comments. Both need to pay and do time. I know of Shawn Bianco but saw Kate Martin everywhere with school functions, little league and to realize now that everytime she was involved with a fundraiser she was stealing from the kids, parents and teachers. It just makes me sick. I hope she and Shawn have the book thrown at them. They both should have to sell their assets that were purchased from stolen money to pay back the schools, PTO’s, homeowners and wherever money was stolen from. I still cannot believe that Martin could think she would not be found out for stealing money when the investigation was going on for Bianco stealing money. Were they in cahoots, seems to this article that they overlapped at some point. The PTO must have been running on empty for sometime. Sounds like they have a problem with some of these people, I would watch out for the next person handling the money sometimes idiots flock together. Maybe one of these will actually make it to court to be held accountable.

These women were not in cahoots. They did not overlap. It is heartbreaking that our PTO worked so hard to replace the money that Bianco stole and that Kate would do the same exact thing breaks my heart. My children will not be able to go on a field trip or have assemblies and their teachers are struggling for classroom supplies. It is sad that their children have to deal with their mother's reputations as thieves.

There are only a couple of crimes that are lower on the garbage scale then stealing money from our children and families. Money that I and my friends worked hard to generate for our children and their school. And to have you Kate Martin and Shawn Bianco steal and lie your way through our lives makes me sick to my stomach. I will look forward to the court dates of both of you so I can see justice served and use it as a lesson to my children that being a thief and liar do not pay! Everybody is tip toeing around this out of respect to your families but that does not allow our families and our children to use this as a lesson that being a criminal does not and will not pay. To know that after you both were caught you still acted like nothing happened, hope you saved for a rainy day. You both disgust me and I hope you both get what you deserve. Being a single parent this just infuriates me that I struggle almost everyday and had to really stretch time and money to help my children and the PTO, while you were stealing it right from my hand. Hopefully this new PTO board can try to repair the damage done by you both, one right after the other. Absolutely disgusted.

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