Jan 7, 2022
OBSERVER Staff Report
A former treasurer at Frewsburg Central School has pleaded guilty to stealing funds reportedly raised by students to support extra-classroom activities.
Angela Smoulder, 27, is accused of taking $6,982 that resulted in a petit larceny charge, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt announced Friday in a joint statement.
The money was taken from the district’s extra-classroom activities account; Smoulder allegedly attempted to conceal the theft by substituting the stolen funds with checks from the school district retirees’ health insurance account, among other things, DiNapoli and Schmidt said.
Students raise and spend extra-classroom activity funds to promote the education and morale of all students and to finance extracurricular activities. Those funds are collected by students from several sources, such as admissions, membership dues and sales.
The thefts occurred between March and August 2019.
“Ms. Smoulder betrayed the students she was obligated to serve by stealing money that they raised themselves to help pay for their extracurricular activities,” DiNapoli said. “I thank Chautauqua District Attorney Schmidt and his office for partnering with us, bringing this corruption to light, and recovering the stolen money for the students of Frewsburg.”
The school district superintendent reported the theft after Smoulder resigned. The comptroller’s forensic analysis of the scholarship account revealed Smoulder’s manipulation.
Smoulder’s guilty plea also required full restitution to the district in the amount of $6,982.42.