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Article updated: 11/27/2012 11:39 AM

Grayslake woman charged with stealing from school PTO

By Bob Susnjara

An arraignment is scheduled next week for a Grayslake woman who prosecutors say may have stolen more than $10,000 from a local school's Parent Teacher Organization.

Elizabeth S. Bako, 41, of the 300 block of Woodland Drive, was formally charged with two counts of theft and two counts of using a debit card with intent to defraud under an indictment handed up last week by a Lake County grand jury.

Bako, who is free on bail, is due in Lake County circuit court for arraignment Dec. 5.

Court documents say Bako "knowingly obtained unauthorized control over property" of the Frederick School PTO between April 2011 and May 31, 2012. Frederick serves grades five and six in Grayslake.

Bako in one theft count is accused of stealing between $10,000 and $100,000 from the Frederick PTO. The second theft count accuses her of taking $500 to $10,000, according to court papers filed after her indictment.

From July 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012, Bako used a debit card assigned to the Frederick PTO's checking account and took more than $150, court documents say. She faces three to seven years in prison if convicted on the most serious theft charge.

Also known as Lisa Bako, she's periodically spoken at Grayslake Elementary District 46 board meetings. At a March 2011 meeting, she asked administrators to use the PTO as a resource.

In the most recently available Internal Revenue Service records filed in June 2010, Bako was listed as president for the Woodview School PTO. Woodview is a Grayslake school for kindergarten through fourth grade.

Woodview's newsletter from May 2012 stated Bako would be the school's outgoing PTO president and thanked her for her service.

PTOs typically host a variety of fundraising activities to help pay for extras at schools, such as student field trips or outside performers for a fine-arts curriculum.

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