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PTA thief avoids jail sentence

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:44 PM
bvargo@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 231

The 30-year-old woman’s probation was extended for one year. That order comes eight months after her original sentencing date for embezzling more than $20,000 from the Ferry Elementary School Parent Teachers Association.

Moore was the treasurer for the organization prior to an investigation into missing funds.

Moore’s husband, Adam Youngs, received the same penalty when he was sentenced a week earlier.

The couple was given delayed sentence status as an opportunity to pay back the missing funds. They paid $8,700 on Nov. 4, 2013, and agreed to make $500-per-month payments until the agreed-upon amount was fully paid.

As of Monday, $2,400 in restitution and a small amount of fines and costs had yet to be paid, Ottawa County Circuit Judge Ed Post said.

Youngs said previously that he was waiting to find out the final figure and that he had arrangements to make the payment.

“It’s imperative that you pay this money back and not at your convenience,” the judge said.

Former Ferry PTA President Melissa Poll said it was a “pleasant surprise” to get the money back. Although the organization has been able to maintain normal activities, many bills were left unpaid, she said.

“We just sort of pressed on,” Poll said. “We owed some local and some national companies. We did pay them before we did anything grand.”

Poll said the organization also instituted a financial officer position as the result of the embezzlement.

“That person approves the financial statement and the checking account each month,” she explained.

Discrepancies in the PTA funds were discovered in late May 2013. Poll said they discovered the accounts had been tampered with since August 2012.

Moore and Youngs faced up to 10 years in prison, and/or a $10,000 fine.

Now the Ferry PTA’s vice president, Poll said she would have preferred to see Moore ordered to perform some community service as part of her sentence.

“I hope we can all keep our noses out of trouble and move forward,” Poll added.

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