4 ways to protect your parent teacher organization from theft

Two different parents have been recently accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the parent teacher organizations (PTO) they once served.

The Spokane Police Department arrested Mandie Russell Saturday. The former Finch Elementary School PTO Treasurer is accused of stealing at least $34,000 over the last year and a half.

Russell’s arrest came just days after authorities arrested a PTO treasurer in Deer Park for a similar crime. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said Teesha Lutrick admitted to taking $25,000 from the Deer Park Elementary School PTO.

Experts have shared tips to prevent thefts like these across multiple PTO-centered websites. Here are four good practices:

Require two signatures on checks
Use request and reimbursement forms
Don’t leave people alone with money
Question unusual activity on the PTO bank account

Neither PTOs mentioned in this story have replied to request from 4 News Now for comment.