Treasurer, former teacher assistant charged with embezzling money from Lenoir County school PTA

Treasurer, former teacher assistant charged with embezzling money from Lenoir County school PTA

Lenoir County deputies arrested Jennifer West of Kinston this morning.

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A former teacher assistant who also was the treasurer for the school’s parent teacher association is accused of embezzlement.

Lenoir County deputies arrested Jennifer West of Kinston on April 4th on four counts of embezzlement. West had her first court appearance April 5th.

The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office was first notified of possible fraud activity of the PTA bank account on February 1st and from there, deputies began the investigation.

“I think this was a North Carolina state bylaws issue. If they would have been following that program, then this would have been caught a little earlier,” Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office SRO Sgt. Josh Garner said.

The 43-year-old Kinston woman was the PTA treasurer at Southwood Elementary School since July of 2023 as well as working there as a teacher assistant.

Deputies say West stole nearly $16,000 of PTA funds over two months and used them for personal use not related to the PTA.

The investigation into the missing money is ongoing, according to a news release.

“This is a one off incident. This is not a representation of Lenoir County Public Schools this is not  representation of lenoir county period. I fully trust the schools everyday with my children and I will continue to trust them,” Garner said.

Southwood Elementary School

Southwood Elementary School

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