Wilton High School PTSA former treasurer Crismari Feliz was arrested Wednesday after a three-month investigation by Wilton Police, and charged with embezzling $24,008.
According to a press release issued this morning, the PTSA president Savet Constantine contacted police in January 2018 to make a complaint of larceny by embezzlement. She reported that more than $20,000 had been taken from the PTSA account via unauthorized transactions.
Detective Kip Tarrant conducted an investigation and discovered that Feliz allegedly took the funds by making unauthorized withdrawals from the PTSA checking account. According to police, those withdrawals were used to pay for personal credit card bills and car lease payments.
Feliz was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree larceny. She posted a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April 30.
Message from PTSA President
PTSA president Savet Constantine emailed the following message to parents and teachers Friday morning after news broke of the arrest:
Dear Wilton High School Parents, Teachers and Community:
I want to share with you that the WHS PTSA bank account was the unfortunate target of improper activities. Approximately $25,000 of alleged fraudulent transactions were made in our account in the fourth quarter of 2017. However, our governance protocols and financial controls uncovered the situation and we proactively froze the account while working with the bank to retrieve the missing funds. All funds have been recovered and fully restored to our account (with the exception of $250).
I reached out to the Wilton Police Department immediately upon detecting the unauthorized removal of funds from the account. The WPD has been extremely responsive and will provide all further information on their investigation. I extend my deepest thanks to Detective Kip Tarrant, who has worked diligently conducting this case, and the Wilton Police Department.
Given your generosity in supporting the PTSA this year, please know that our Board will meet to evaluate any further protocols that may need to be made. We also will continue to work with the CT State PTA to further enhance financial security procedures. We have moved forward with all planned programs for the students: the PTSA co-sponsored the Dr. Suniya Luthar presentation on the results of the WHS student survey, sponsored the professional performances at the World Languages Festival and upcoming events on our schedule include the International Art Show, the FAPA Library Show, Real World Career Day, the PTSA Book Awards and memorable end-of-year Senior events.
Thank you for your understanding and patience in this matter.
WHS PTSA President
Editor’s note: The article has been updated to reflect that the accused is the former treasurer–she was officially removed from her position at the March PTSA meeting, but her access to accounts was blocked in January when the PTSA president had the accounts frozen.