Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Public safety

Weightman Middle mom stole $5,200 from PTA, Pasco deputies say

WESLEY CHAPEL — For the second time in a week, a Parent Teacher Association officer at a Pasco school has been arrested on charges of taking PTA funds.

In her role as treasurer of the Weightman Middle School PTA, Jocelyn Ann Severson embezzled $5,199.25 between September 2011 and February of this year, a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states.

She concealed her transactions, the report states, by changing the mailing address on the PTA's account, so bank statements would go to her Wesley Chapel home. There, she would delete her transactions from the statements and change the balances.

The PTA president needed a bank statement to present to the school while Severson was out of town, Pasco Schools spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said. The president got a statement from the bank, compared it with ones Severson provided and realized they didn't line up. School officials called authorities.

A Pasco sheriff's deputy showed up at Severson's home Tuesday morning, the report states, and Severson admitted to stealing the money and using it for her phone, Internet and car insurance bills because of "financial hardship."

Severson, 50, was arrested on a charge of scheming to defraud. She was released from the Land O'Lakes jail after posting $5,000 bail.

Mara Leah Slone, 33, the PTA president at Seven Springs Elementary, was arrested last week on charges of embezzling $2,825 of the association's finds.

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