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Seneca PTO Treasurer pleads not guilty to stealing more than $25,000

Updated January 27, 2014:  A woman accused of stealing from the Seneca, Missouri Parent Teacher Organization pleads not guilty.

Tabitha Lant appeared in Newton County court on Monday to enter her plea and waive her right to a formal arraignment.

Lant is accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the PTO and using the money for her own expenses.

Lant was serving as treasurer for the PTO when the board president discovered there were insufficient funds in the organization's checking account.

 

 

Updated July 26, 2013 at 1:45 PM CST:  The Newton County Sheriff's Office says Seneca PTO Treasurer Tabitha Lant turned herself in at 4:22 p.m. on Thursday and bonded out a short time later.

Lant is accused of spending over $25,000 out of the Seneca PTO fund on her own personal expenses.

The bond was set at $5,000.

Lant's first court appearance is scheduled for August 19.

Updated July 25, 2013 at 5:40 PM CST:  Seneca PTO Treasurer Tabitha Lant has not turned herself in after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Lant is accused of spending over $25,000 out of the Seneca PTO fund on her own personal expenses.

According to authorities Lant's PTO debit card history shows transactions at several different locations including Tropical Tan, Walmart and Kohl's.

Seneca Schools Superintendent Steve Wilmoth clarifies that the school district has no control over the Seneca PTO, which is a completely separate organization.

"You can't control the feelings that everybody has, it certainly upsets people, it upsets me that something like this supposedly has happened," says Superintendent Wilmoth.

"It's taking away from an organization that helps and supports the teachers and the things that they need," says grandparent Derinda Malone.

"That's awful, I don't see how anyone could do that, honestly, especially taking it away from a school and kids go there, how can you live with yourself?" says parent Stephanie Hoover.

Superintendent Wilmoth says this will affect some events scheduled by PTO for the kids throughout the year but it will not affect the kids' schooling because that comes out of the school's budget which is completely separate.

 

Posted July 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM CST:  An arrest warrant has been issued for Tabitha Lant, the treasurer of the Seneca PTO Board.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland says Lant is accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the Seneca PTO.

Sheriff Copeland says more details will be released as the investigation continues.

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