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Ex-Parent Club Treasurer Charged In Embezzlement Case
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The former treasurer of the Oakdale Junior High School Parent Teacher Club appeared in court on July 14 to face criminal charges of forgery and embezzlement.
   Sabrina R. Martinez, 35, of Oakdale, is accused of embezzling over $4300 and forging unauthorized checks during a 10-month period in 2009 when she managed the fundraising organization’s finances.
   In October 2009, Martinez was replaced as treasurer by parent, Kyle Richardson. When Richardson took over the position, she noticed irregularities in the bookkeeping by Martinez, including electronic payments of over $1000 from the PTC bank account to pay Martinez’s Kohl’s Department Store and Target Store credit accounts.
   Richardson contacted the Oakdale Police Department, which conducted an investigation and contacted the various banking institutions involved in the fraud and embezzlement. The Stanislaus District Attorney’s Fraud Unit also assisted in the investigation.
   In addition to making payments to her personal credit accounts, Martinez is accused of collecting over $1385 associated with school fundraising activities and failing to deposit them into the PTC’s bank account even though she noted in the organizations’ books that the deposits were made.
   Martinez is also accused of forging over $500 in checks to an alias and then depositing them into her bank account.
   The investigation also showed that during the time period she served as treasurer, Martinez made several withdrawals or issued checks to herself claiming they were for “expenses” associated with crab feeds, teacher appreciation lunches, and other PTC functions.
   Records show over $1350 in separate expense checks and withdrawals in an eight-month period for amounts ranging from $100 to $250.
   With the exception of a $29 rental receipt for a popcorn popper, there were no other associated receipts or documentation for the expenses claimed by Martinez, despite several requests to produce them.
   Martinez did not give a statement to police about the expenditures or the checks and transfers.
   At the July 14 court appearance, Martinez pleaded not guilty to the accusations and has a preliminary hearing date set for July 20.