ROCKVILLE – A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge sentenced a former PTA treasurer, who pleaded guilty to embezzling and misappropriating PTA funds, to nine months in jail Tuesday.
Judge David A. Boynton sentenced former Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations treasurer Lisa Betts, 46, to five years in jail, with all but nine months suspended. In addition, Boynton ordered Betts to pay the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations $1,000 for their insurance deductible, pay $44,000 to the Greencastle Elementary School Parent Teacher Association and $27,000 to the Travelers Insurance Company.
“One of the messages that has to come out of this case is when you steal you go to jail,” Boynton said, adding that someone who steals needs to pay back what he or she took.
Toward the end of the sentencing, Betts told the judge she volunteers in her local community frequently and that she “betrayed their [the PTA’s] trust” during a “lapse of judgment.”
“Giving back has always been a part of me, and here I find I have truly lost my way,” Betts said, later adding, “I’m just a shell of a person that once was.”
Lynn Harris president of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations, the organization that Betts pleaded guilty to embezzling money from, said Betts should pay back the money she embezzled
“Every penny of that should have gone to the students and the school,” Harris said.