Fort Bragg PTSA President Sentenced to Federal Prison for the Theft of Fundraising Money
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 16, 2011|
NEW BERN, NC—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday United State District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced MELINDA M. DILORENZO, 37, of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to eight months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release. The court also ordered restitution in the amount of $27,598.68.
On August 8, 2011, an amended criminal information was filed charging DILORENZO with larceny within a special maritime jurisdiction. That same day she pled guilty to the charge.
According to the investigation, DILORENZO served as President of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at the Pope Elementary School and as Treasurer for the Albritton Middle School Parent, Teacher and Student Organization, located on Fort Bragg, during 2009 and 2010. DILORENZO’s duties, in part, required her to write checks to pay authorized expenses and to deposit money received from fundraising activities. Much of the fundraising money was earned by school-age children and volunteers during book sales and by selling chocolate bars and spirit wear. This money typically would have been used for extracurricular events, extra supplies and books, and other items and events intended to enrich the children’s school experience. DILORENZO and others typically received cash and checks, which were counted by at least two members and sealed with a deposit form noting the amount of money collected. The envelope of money was then given to DILORENZO for deposit.
Between July 24, 2009, and August 19, 2009, DILORENZO wrote at least eight checks, made payable to either a family member, herself or to cash, totaling $2,741.05. Also, during the latter part of 2009, DILORENZO began taking cash, collected during fund raisers, she was entrusted with for deposit. An audit was conducted in October, 2010, in which the bank deposit balance for fund raisers was missing $19,631.73. In total, the amount taken by DILORENZO was $27,598.68.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Assistant United States Attorney Jamal R. Rhinehardt served as prosecutor for the government.