Woman embezzles PTA funds, returns money, avoids charges

According to local press reports, a woman who previously worked at a public high school was discovered to have embezzled a sizable amount of money from the school’s PTA funds. The woman has since apologized and refunded all of the money.

The woman who worked as a clerk at a public high school in the middle part of Okinawa Island embezzled ¥12.4 million yen from the PTA funds she had been in charge of over five years between 2009 and 2013. In June last year, her successor noticed an insufficient balance in the account.  When questioned, the woman admitted her embezzlement and refunded the money last August.

School officials then explained the case to parents, and apologized. The school officials are not considering a criminal complaint against the woman because she admitted the charges, apologized and returned all of the money.

According to high school and PTA officials, she worked at the high school from April 2009 through April 2014, and had been in charge of dealing with the PTA activities’ budget, school club activities’ tour budget and reunion fund.  When the activity requested a payment of an expense, she withdrew the requested amount plus the money she wanted. She took the money out of the account in cash even though she did not need to.  When the school accountants inspected the accounts, they only checked the bankbook and receipts she had made to make sure they matched the figures in the account book.

After the discrepancy was uncovered, the woman apologized for the school and the top PTA officers. She explained that she had used the money for her living expenses, and had intended to return the money later. School and PTA officials say, “We did not check thoroughly enough, so we will enhance our management system in order to make sure an incident like this does not to happen again.”