Former PTA president accused of embezzling more than $7,000
Dana Marie DiBenedetto turned herself into authorities for embezzling thousands of dollars from the school's PTA. (Source: Brunswick County Sheriff's Office)
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A member of the parent-teacher association at Virginia Williamson Elementary is accused of embezzling money, according to officials.
Brunswick County Sheriff's detectives issued a warrant for Dana Marie DiBenedetto of Supply.
DiBenedetto is accused of embezzling $7,619.08 from the school's PTA. Detectives say she used the PTA's debit card to pay off household and personal bills.
A spokeswoman for the Brunswick County School System said the school is aware of the on-going investigation. Brunswick County Schools issued the following statement regarding the investigation.
Parent Teacher Associations work under the auspices of the National PTA organization and are independent from the operations of Brunswick County Schools. These allegations are not a reflection on Virginia Williamson Elementary School or the Virginia Williamson Elementary PTA.
According to NCPTA Executive Director Debra Horton, local PTAs are independent nonprofit organizations and constituent members of both NCPTA and National PTA. Local PTAs are required to do an annual financial review that must be completed by August 31. This year the numbers didn't match up.
A representative from the school's PTA said the organization is aware of the investigation into allegations of misconduct by their former president. They issued the following statement in regards to the investigation:
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Virginia Williamson Elementary School acknowledges the ongoing investigation of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department into allegations of misconduct by the organization's former president.
The PTA provides support to the students and staff at Virginia Williamson Elementary and operates independently from the schools.
These allegations are not a reflection on the PTA or Virginia Williamson Elementary School.
New officers of the organization will determine how information about the status of the treasury will be communicated to members.
Additional requests for information should be addressed to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department.
DiBenedetto is charged with one count of embezzlement.