VIDEO REPORT: Parent Accused of Stealing from Childrens' Groups

By: Phil Levin Email
By: Phil Levin Email

UPDATED: Monday, October 15, 2012 --- 11:15 p.m.

Police say a Beloit woman paid for personal expenses totaling about $27,000 using accounts meant to help kids.

34-year-old Holly Flanagan is a Beloit mother in the local school district. As a volunteer treasurer for the Converse Elementary School PTO, police says she spent nearly $22,000 off the books. This year's staff only discovered the discrepancy when several checks bounced.

The group, funded by donations and fundraisers, was saving to buy a new playground after a major renovation at the school. School district staff say Flanagan hid the scheme by presenting doctored expenditure spreadsheets at PTO meetings, instead of actual receipts.

"In all of my interaction with Holly she's a great person," said Superintendent Steve McNeal. "I still think she probably is but she made some big mistakes."

PTO staff only discovered the alleged theft on Thursday. However, Flanagan was fired from a part-time reception job at the Boys and Girls Club in September for a similar scheme. Staff there say she charged more than $5,000 of her personal bills on a club credit card.

"Great personality, great person, just uncharacteristic," describes Boys and Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Fred Buggs. "I think a lot of people will be surprised by the things she allegedly may have done."

Buggs says she was hired in January, 2011. Nobody expected she was making unauthorized payments until they saw anomalies on the credit card statement.

Beloit Police Captain Vince Sciame says Flanagan will be charged with Financial Transaction Crime for the alleged credit card theft, as well as a second theft charge for her alleged misuse of PTO funds.

Buggs says the Boys and Girls Club reclaimed about 95 percent of their funds by working with Visa. McNeal says he hopes generous parents will lend a hand again to help fund the new playground.

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Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 --- 3:25 p.m.

From the Beloit Police Department:

On September 25, 2012, the Beloit Police Department opened an investigation of fraudulent use of a credit card that occurred at the Beloit Boys & Girls Club, 1851 Moore St.

The investigation revealed that a Boys & Girls Club employee had used the Club’s credit card for personal use between March and August of 2012.

Records revealed that the amount charged by the employee was nearly $5,400.00.

This incident was reported by the President of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club after the Club’s Director noticed discrepancies in the credit card bill.

On October 11, 2012, the Beloit Police Department was notified of a theft of money from the Converse School PTO account which has occurred over the last year.

The suspect in this theft is the same as the employee of the Boys & Girls Club. After completing a full audit of the Converse PTO, the amount missing is calculated to be nearly $22,000.00. This incident was reported by the Superintendent for the School District of Beloit and the Principal of Converse School.

The suspect in these incidents is Holly K. Flanagan, W/F, 02/16/1978, of Beloit, WI.

A Beloit Police Department Detective has interviewed Holly Flanagan in regards to these missing funds.

As a result of the investigations, Holly Flanagan has been arrested and will appear in court on November 1, 2012 for the following charges:

Financial Transaction Card Crimes – 943.41(2)
Theft – 943.20(1)(b)

Any other community groups or organizations, in which Holly Flanagan may have had access to their finances, are asked to review their accounting records for missing funds. All discrepancies should be reported to the Beloit Police Department for investigation by contacting Captain Vince Sciame at (608) 364-6812.


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