Police looking into check problems with Booth booster club

Tue, 08/28/2007 - 10:57am
By: John Munford

Booster club president admits to principal that he took the money

Peachtree City police are looking into possible criminal charges against the president of the Booth Middle School Athletic Booster Club for diverting $9,900 from the booster club’s bank account.

According to a police report, the booster club president, Matt Trebuchon, admitted that he had taken the money when he was confronted at his home by Booth Middle School Assistant Principal Ron Plauche about the missing money. At the time, Trebuchon told Plauche that he was having tax problems, the police report indicated.

After that confrontation at Trebuchon’s home, the school received a check “for the remainder of the stolen money,” according to the police report.

Trebuchon has not been charged with any crime as of Tuesday, said Police Chief James Murray. But police detectives just opened the investigation Friday and have not attempted to contact Trebuchon for an interview yet, Murray said.

“We need to find out if this occurred,” Murray said, noting that police will also look to see if other similar incidents have occurred with the Booth booster club account.

Murray said he has spoken with high-ranking school officials who said they want the matter to be investigated by police.

The police report stated that the two checks in question were written from the booster club’s account to First Class Events, which was later determined to actually be USSSA Baseball Productions, a company for which Trebuchon is employed as southeastern regional director. One of the checks was for $7,400 and the other was for $2,500, police said.

Murray noted that the checks only require one person’s signature to be valid, which is different than many other organizations which may require two or more signatures to make sure funds are disbursed appropriately.

“I was kind of shocked that there was only one signature required on the checks,” Murray said.

Schools spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said although booster clubs are private organizations separate from schools, the system will be looking into how to prevent such a situation from ever occurring again. The money was designated to benefit the children, she added.

“We are doing an internal investigation,” Berry-Dreisbach said. “... We are taking this very seriously.”

While the organization is separate from the school, the booster club’s checks feature the school’s logo and have the school’s address on them, Murray said.

The incident came to light after Booth officials noticed the school was receiving bills from several vendors for unpaid purchases which were supposed to be paid for by the school’s athletic booster account, Plauche told the school’s resource police officer. A further investigation into the matter was conducted by Plauche and the school accountant, who reviewed checks and other documents at BB&T bank.

Plauche initially reported the irregularities to the school resource police officer on August 14, but three days later a BB&T official informed the school accountant that Trebuchon deposited $8,400 “but had taken several certified checks and cashier checks.”

A stop check action was taken on each of the checks, the police report stated, and the very next day was when Plauche came to Trebuchon’s home to confront him about the account’s problems.

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Submitted by makijo on Tue, 08/28/2007 - 2:17pm.

No wonder those baseball tournaments cost so much!!!!!

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