A 43-year-old Daly City man is facing a felony embezzlement charge Friday after he allegedly siphoned an estimated $35,000 from the Parkside Middle School Music Boosters’ bank account in his two years as treasurer of the organization, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
Michael Manuel allegedly turned himself in to the San Bruno Police Department Friday after an arrest warrant was issued for him Thursday, and is currently in custody on $35,000 bail, according to police and prosecutors.
Between Aug. 1, 2017, and Sept. 23, Manuel allegedly embezzled an estimated $35,000 from the organization. An investigation into the organization’s finances as of Oct. 3 revealed Manuel allegedly put some $24,000 back into the organization’s bank account and planned on paying back another $10,000 to the account in the coming weeks, according to prosecutors.
Manuel allegedly lost his job and started volunteering as a treasurer for the organization, but allegedly got behind on his bills because he wasn’t working, according to prosecutors.
Required by the San Bruno Park School District to present financial records annually, the organization’s finances drew the attention of the district’s superintendent when they weren’t produced at the appointed time. The issue came to light when the superintendent requested the records, according to prosecutors.
Manuel’s arrest comes days after the arrest of the former treasurer of the PTA at John Muir Elementary School following a weekslong investigation. Lani D’Arcy, a 42-year-old San Bruno resident, is facing felony embezzlement charges on suspicion of misappropriating more than $80,000 in funds raised for the San Bruno school community between June 2017 and June 6, according to prosecutors previously.
In a statement, Dr. Candi Clark, interim assistant superintendent of Business Services at the San Bruno Park Elementary School District, said the district has implemented policies and procedures requiring parent teacher organizations to submit biannual audits, annual tax returns and applications stating their goals before being allowed to begin fundraising.
According to the statement, the district initiated a discussion with the organization as part of its oversight responsibilities, a step that led to the abrupt resignation of the group’s treasurer. A forensic audit based on the treasurer’s statements revealed there was no financial loss to the organization. Because inappropriate activity was detected, the issue was reported to the San Bruno Police Department, according to Clark’s statement.
“Our only goal is to support the families and students of our amazing community,” Clark said in the statement. “We remain committed to working closely with our parent community to enhance the educational experience at each of our schools. We stand with the many hardworking and dedicated parents of our San Bruno students who volunteer and support our schools every day.”
Manuel is next expected to appear in court Nov. 12 for initial felony arraignment, according to prosecutors.
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