PTA president charged with stealing school's fundraising money

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MURRAY -- Someone stole thousands of dollars from a Murray elementary school and prosecutors blame the school's PTA president. They've charged her with six felonies, including forgery, theft and unlawful dealing.

It was Alicia Browning's job as PTA president of Viewmont Elementary School to deposit fundraising money into the school's account. The problem is investigators say more than $9,000 never made it there.

"We don't know where the money is. We don't know what the money went to," said Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney Alicia Cook.

It was money 32-year-old Browning and the rest of the PTA raised through fundraisers. The first $2,000 disappeared after a silent auction held in October of last year.

Court documents say of the little more than $6,000 in cash and checks earned that night; $4,691 in checks was deposited into the PTA's Key Bank account but the cash was not.

There were other fundraisers at the school, and the same thing happened each time.

"The total amounts just did not make their way into the bank account," Cook said.

Browning is also charged with forgery. In November, she withdrew $1,000 to buy gift cards for a sixth-grade graduation party slated for the spring. But when April rolled around, court documents say Browning stated that the cards had expired and that she returned them and was awaiting a refund. She even produced an invoice.

"When the company was contacted, the company explained their gift cards do not expire. And furthermore, when the company looked at the invoice the company said, ‘This is not our invoice. This is a forged document,'" Cook said.

Prosecutors believe Browning was working alone. Someone who worked with Browning on the PTA says the she "can't imagine what went through her head."

If convicted, Browning could face time in prison.

"The second-degree felonies carry possible prison sentences of one to 15 years. The third-degree felonies carry possible prison sentences of zero to 5 years," Cook said.

Browning is scheduled to be in court again next week.


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Courtney Orton


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