Gurnee police say a four-month investigation has ended with a theft charge against a woman accused of siphoning more than $26,000 from a private, volunteer organization that provides financial assistance to Warren Township High School's band program.
Cmdr. Saundra Campbell said Maurine E. Moore, 57, of the 3400 block of Mary Avenue, Park City, surrendered at police headquarters Wednesday and was taken into custody. Moore, an ex-treasurer for Warren Band Boosters Inc. who couldn't be reached for comment, posted 10 percent of $15,000 to be freed from the Lake County jail before trial.
She was charged with felony theft. A warrant had been issued for her arrest with a $25,000 bond attached.
In an email to the Daily Herald, Warren Band Boosters President Mark Haynes said a new treasurer who took over in September identified significant balance discrepancies between the organization's bank statements and reports presented by Moore at meetings.
Police said an internal audit of the books revealed unauthorized withdrawals of $26,975. The four-month probe was launched when the audit was brought to the attention of Gurnee authorities.
Haynes said the band boosters will continue working with Gurnee police and the Lake County state's attorney's office. He said Warren's band students remain the club's priority and everything necessary will be done to protect money available to support them.
"At this time, our bank accounts have limited funds, but enough to continue to operate with careful planning and monitoring," Haynes said.
Warren Band Boosters membership is restricted to parents with pupils in the program. Internal Revenue Service documents show money from the organization's fundraising went toward uniforms, travel and scholarships to promote music education at Gurnee-based Warren District 121.
Beyond financial assistance, the boosters help band directors during football games, concerts and off-campus activities.
The boosters had $56,704 in total revenue and $46,103 in expenses listed on IRS forms for the tax year that ended June 30, 2012. Moore signed the federal paperwork in her capacity as treasurer Nov. 13, 2012.
In the tax year that ended June 30, 2011, the group logged $33,393 in total revenue and expenses of $41,405. Moore signed those IRS forms Nov. 15, 2011.
Another volunteer treasurer for a Gurnee organization landed in the criminal justice system in December.
Police said Donald Schaefer, 52, of the 17000 block of West Windslow Drive in unincorporated Lake County, was charged with theft, accused of taking $80,626 from Gurnee Youth Baseball through checks and withdrawals made payable to him from a savings account.