Mayfield High School band booster club treasurer accused of stealing

Mug shot of Michelle Ramsey

A mother has stepped down as treasurer for a band booster club at a Las Cruces high school.

Michelle Ramsey is accused of stealing more than $20,000 from the Mayfield High School club.

During the time Ramsey was treasurer for the Mayfield High band booster club it was reported during an internal audit that $20,850 went missing.

“There’s a lot more leniency when you have a bunch of parents getting together to fundraise for their child’s teams or sports,” Las Cruces Public Schools spokeswoman Jo Galvan said.

On Friday, Ramsey, a teacher at Vista Middle School in Las Cruces and a former treasurer for the Mayfield High School band parents' association, was arrested for allegedly cashing checks on behalf of the Mayfield band and using that money for personal expenses.

“An example of this reported incident is exactly why we don’t have booster clubs under our responsibility. They don’t have to follow the rules as the school district has to,” Galvan said.

Ramsey had access to four bank accounts used by the booster club, and was in charge of writing and cashing checks for band fundraisers, according to police records.

Ramsey stepped down as treasurer after the club's president asked Ramsey to show her the books to reconcile some inconsistencies.

"We have had instances where the clubs realize that there's an inconsistency, something wrong; they are fearful of what happened to some of their money," Galvann said.

An internal audit for the booster club’s band account was conducted after members found large sums of money missing from the account.

Ramsey claimed she used cash for certain expenses instead of checks and couldn’t provide receipts for every transaction.

“We recommend that they have more than one signature whenever they’re dealing with finances and raising money and depositing,” Galvan said.

Ramsey later changed her story and provided receipts to help account for money that was never redeposited back into the club’s account.

But during an investigation led by police it was found that the receipts provided by Ramsey were fraudulent.

Ramsey declined to speak at KFOX14.

Galvan said the district has a policy of not getting involved with fundraising and booster club activities.

"They do a great job but occasionally there is an issue the school district doesn't have any oversight on booster clubs and their bank accounts," Galvan said.

Ramsey is currently is out on bail, but is scheduled to be arraigned in court June 19.

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