The Wilkes Sheriff’s Office on Friday charged two people with embezzling money from the West Wilkes High School Athletic Booster Club while they were officers of the organization.
Maurice Elledge, 75, of Wilkesboro and Jamie McGlamery, 58, of Millers Creek are charged with one count each of embezzlement. McGlamery was arrested Friday and Elledge was arrested Monday.
Det. Jason Adams of the sheriff’s office said McGlamery is charged with embezzling funds while she was treasurer between September 2010 and August 2017.
He said Elledge, president for the last 10 years, was charged with embezzlement after it was discovered in the investigation that he received money from the booster club in 2012 to buy food preparation equipment that never was purchased.
The equipment was for a concession stand at the West Wilkes softball field and Elledge never returned or accounted for the funds, said Adams.
Det. Chuck Bell of the sheriff’s office said McGlamery is charged with embezzling about $29,000 and Elledge is charged with embezzling about $2,500. Bell said both are cooperating with investigators and that McGlamery has stepped down as treasurer.
Bell said McGlamery stated that she would reimburse funds she is charged with embezzling and has already paid back about $7,300. He said she also signed a confession statement.
Elledge also stated that he would pay back any funds he couldn’t account for, said Bell.
Bell and Det. Graylan Tharpe began investigating the case about four months ago after West Wilkes Principal David Johnson reported that discrepancies in the athletic booster club’s financial records had been identified.
Bell said the discrepancies were found after some of the booster club’s checks were returned due to insufficient funds, which prompted Johnson to ask for an accounting of the organization’s finances.
Wilkes School Superintendent Mark Byrd on Monday released the following statement, “While the Wilkes County schools does encourage the development and participation of parent organizations that support the schools, it is important to remember that such organizations are not a part of the school system and are separate entities from the schools they represent. However, once concerns arose with the West Wilkes Athletic Booster Club, the school district initiated an audit of the club’s financial records and notified law enforcement authorities.”
Byrd also commended Johnson for his work in the matter and said Johnson’s “attention to detail in reviewing financial reports led to this audit and investigation.”
Under Wilkes County school policy, receipts must be written for any funds received by a school, school-sponsored organization or booster organization and must be kept as records to compare with cash held and spent.
Booster organizations, such as athletic or band boosters, can have bank accounts apart from the school if they are 501c3 nonprofit organizations.
Any purchase with a school’s athletic funds, regardless of the amount, must be approved in advance through issuance of a purchase order signed by the school athletic director and principal. A coach must obtain an invoice showing the price.
A purchase order signed by the principal is needed for purchases using other funds at a school. Cost estimates from at least three suppliers are needed before a product or services costing an individual school or school organization over $100 is purchased.