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Former Booth booster pleads to taking funds
Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:41pm
By: John Munford
The former president of the Booth Middle School Athletic Booster Club pled guilty in court Tuesday to taking money from the club’s treasury.
Matt Trebuchon, 40, of Belvedere Lane in Peachtree City admitted there was enough evidence to show that he took more than $1,600 from the booster club account. He was sentenced to five years probation, the first of which must be “intensive.” and he also must make full restitution to the club.
The sentence, handed down by Chief Superior Court Judge Paschal A. English Jr., did not include a fine. Trebuchon entered an Alford “guilty” plea under which he technically does not admit guilt but admits the prosecutors could have proven their case had it gone to trial.
Alford pleas can be used in future trials as evidence, unlike first offender pleas, which can be wiped from a defendant’s criminal record upon successful completion of the sentence.
One condition of the probation was that Trebuchon can no longer participate in any youth organization in Fayette County, court officials said.
Trebuchon was arrested in August 2007 after police first learned of the alleged thefts. Though the booster club is a separate entity from the school system, concerns were raised that discrepancies in the account were not reported to either the school superintendent’s office or the school system’s finance department when Booth officials first learned of the problems.
According to a police report Trebuchon initially admitted to taking almost $10,000 from the club and told Booth Assistant Principal Ron Plauche that he was having tax problems at the time.
The school later received a check “for the remainder of the stolen money,” according to a police report.
The case led to school officials working with booster club representatives for all county schools, taking steps to prevent such problems in the future.
The checks that Trebuchon used only required one person’s signature to be valid, which is unusual for such an organization, police 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.login to post comments