Berks

Police: Daniel Boone music boosters' ex-treasurer stole $31K

Money used to pay back taxes, bills, police say

UNION TWP., Pa. - A Berks County woman stole more than $30,000 from a school's music booster group, where she served as treasurer, according to police.

Tara Crouthamel took the money from the Daniel Boone Music Boosters between August 2014 and last November, Pennsylvania State Police said Monday.

"They were transitioning into a new treasurer, so then they looked into the finances and then saw these discrepancies and then contacted us," said Trooper David Beohm, a spokesman for PSP's Reading-based Troop L.

Crouthamel, 47, paid $15,000 in back taxes on her house and withdrew more than $9,000 from ATMs, according to court documents, which also indicate that indicate Crouthamel made many smaller purchases.

"Service Electric, E-ZPass, Walmart, Anthony's Party Rentals, there's a whole slew of different things where it was spent on other than the booster club," said Beohm. "[Crouthamel] is not the first one. Watch the news. It happens. These treasurers and these nonprofits get caught up. I don't know what they get caught up in, but it happens."

Daniel Boone Music Boosters is a 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds through donations. The group is a separate entity from the Daniel Boone Area School District, which did not comment on the arrest.

Daniel Boone Music Boosters said the money it raises typically helps pay for travel and uniform expenses. It released a statement, saying in part: "The accounts in question were immediately closed. It is our responsibility to be transparent and responsible in our actions and apologize for any inconvenience or uncertainty that may arise from this. As we work through the long road ahead, we will continue to support all our district-wide music programs, teachers, staff, and students without interruption."

The group also indicated it is taking new steps to prevent thefts like this in the future.

Crouthamel was charged with theft and access device fraud. She was released after posting $20,000 bail.


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