Seven Springs mom pocketed PTA funds, Pasco deputies say

Tampa Bay Times
Published May 18, 2013

NEW PORT RICHEY — The president of Seven Springs Elementary School's Parent Teacher Association was arrested Thursday on charges she embezzled thousands of dollars of the association's funds.

Mara Leah Slone, 33, was the sole signer on the chapter's account at Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union, a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states, noting that violated school policy. The money is made through fundraisers and is not taxpayer dollars, said school district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe.

Between Dec. 14, 2011, and Jan. 15 this year, $2,825 went missing in unaccounted-for transactions. In January, Cobbe said, a bookkeeper for the county PTA council looked through the purchases and saw no receipts.

The council asked Slone for proof of the purchases, Cobbe said, but Slone couldn't provide any. Later, the law got involved.

Slone couldn't explain the account charges to a deputy, either, the report states. She later said she'd used the money for personal use "because of financial hardships," the deputy wrote in the report.

Slone gave the deputy $2,000 cash she said she got from returning items she bought and never used, the report states, and appeared "remorseful for her actions."

Slone of New Port Richey was arrested on a charge of scheming to defraud. She has since been released from the Land O'Lakes jail after posting $5,000 bail.

She could not be reached for comment.

Contact Alex Orlando at or (727) 869-6247.