A former Imperial Beach PTA president was arrested Wednesday after being suspected of embezzling thousands from the school, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Kaitlyn Birchman is accused of stealing between $25,000 and $40,000 in funds meant for Imperial Beach Charter School students, according to current PTA officials.
She was taken into custody by the Temecula Police Department at her Riverside home, deputies said.
A felony warrant was obtained back in November and put in the system for Birchman’s arrest, according to SDSO.
On Wednesday, San Diego deputies went to Riverside to interview Birchman. Officials said she cooperated with the investigation and spoke about the allegations against her.
Amber Vissuet and Elizabeth McKay, the current president and treasurer of the PTA told NBC 7 in August that during an 18-month period the organization’s former president allegedly lied about the group’s finances.
They said she reportedly emptied out its bank account, collected money from members for bills but failed to pay invoices, and spent the PTA’s money on personal items and on family trips.
The real victims are the children, according to McKay, who missed out on field trips and back-to-school events typically funded by the PTA.
“It’s a hard lesson to share with your kids that adults you trust and you think are good people are capable of doing something like this,” McKay said.
Birchman posted bond after her arrest, according to deputies.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Financial Crimes Unit is handling the investigation.