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Ex-secretary charged in theft from school

January 22, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

A former secretary at Cascade ElementarySchool has been charged with stealing more than $4,000 from the school over a 16-month period.

Jean E. Mapes, 50, of 11809 Seminole Drive, Smithsburg, was served Friday morning with criminal summonses for felony theft/scheme, forgery, uttering and embezzlement, according to Investigator Chris Weaver of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

School officials told Weaver that Mapes, who was secretary at the school for 121/2 years, was terminated from her employment Nov. 29 for reasons "not relevant to the missing money."

Weaver began an investigation Dec. 9 into the theft of $4,213.75 from the school after being alerted by William Montross, supervisor of human resources for the Washington County Board of Education. Montross told Weaver most of the money was collected from various school events such as field trips, book fairs and school supply sales.

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When the money was found to be missing during a routine audit, the investigation was begun. All the losses were found to have occurred between July 1998, and November 1999, Weaver said.

In addition to the stolen money, a $600 check was found to have been cashed from the school's checking account March 16, 1999, Weaver said.

That check, which was payable to Mapes, bore Cascade Principal Carolyn Moore's signature, but the signature was found to be forged, Weaver said.

Part of Mapes' job was to count money collected, fill out deposit slips and deposit money into the school's bank account, Weaver said. Mapes was interviewed Jan. 12 about the missing money.

Maximum penalties for the charges against Mapes are 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine for felony theft/scheme; 10 years each for forgery and uttering; and five years for embezzlement.

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