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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Ex-PTO treasurer faces theft charges

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  • A Seneca woman has been charged with felony stealing after allegedly taking more than $25,000 from the Seneca Parent Teacher Organization.
    An arrest warrant was issued for Tabitha L. Lant, 28, on Tuesday, after the former PTO treasurer allegedly misappropriated at least $25,199.86, according to a probable cause affidavit.
    Seneca Police Chief James Altic wrote in the affidavit that the missing funds were discovered when Seneca PTO President Lacie Graham was contacted by Peoples Bank of Seneca, regarding insufficient funds in the organization's checking account.
    "A review of the accounts revealed numerous unexplained purchases by PTO treasurer Tabitha Lant," Altic wrote.
    According to Altic's report, the charges included purchases from Tropical Tan, Sam's Club, Kohl's and Wal-Mart.
    "The Seneca Police Department acquired video from Wal-Mart where Lant was using the PTO debit card for personal use," Altic wrote. "A search warrant was served on Lant's residence for any and all PTO related documents."
    The Seneca PTO released a statement Wednesday on their Facebook page, in which they announced that Lant is no longer involved in their organization.
    "In a disappointing turn of events the PTO learned that a former officer had been mishandling PTO funds," the statement reads. "Furthermore, legal actions have been taken against this person and they have been removed from the PTO."
    The statement also noted that preventative measures had been taken to avoid similar incidents in the future.
    "The PTO hopes that the actions of one individual [do] not hinder future involvement in our small community," reads the statement.
    Altic also noted in the affidavit that Lant was "extremely cooperative" and requested to pay back $5,000, as well as to repay the rest at a later date.
    According to Missouri CaseNet, the felony charges date back to August 2011.
    Bond has been set at $5,000, cash only.

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