APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - One of the parent organizers of the annual year-end party for graduating seniors at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota, has been charged with stealing approximately $9,000 from the party fund.
The party, typically held overnight at the high school following the commencement ceremony, is organized by a group of parent volunteers and paid for by the cash and donations they raise.
The alleged theft was first reported to Apple Valley Police on March 19 after the parents discovered some unusual transactions involving the group’s bank account.
The parents told police the treasurer, Jill Fiedler, was the only member of the group with access to the bank account.
According to the charges, Fiedler had been writing checks to herself since October. She also made several unauthorized debit card transactions to Pure Romance, a company she sells products for, and AT&T. She also made cash withdrawals from an ATM.
Pure Romance officials told Fox 9 she was fired from the company in April and released the following statement:
"The school district contacted us about the fraudulent activity of Jill Fiedler in April and she was immediately terminated. Our Consultants are independent contractors yet Pure Romance reserves the right to terminate upon violation of company ethics and policies."
In an interview with police, Fiedler said she made the transactions. She claimed she made some of the transfers to get cash advances to purchase prize items for the party, but had yet to buy the items.
Fiedler admitted she knew she would have to repay the money, and claimed she had enough to pay the majority back immediately. She told police she believed she owed the group $7,000.
As of April 11, none of the money had been returned to the group.
Fiedler is charged with one count of felony theft by temporary control. If convicted she faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $20,000.