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Does an Ex-PTA Treasurer Accused of Stealing School Funds for Fertility Treatments Deserve Jail Time?

Public School 29

Is there ever a time or a reason when stealing from kids is OK?

Stealing is never right, right? And stealing from kids is even more wrong, right?

Then why do I feel a teensy bit bad for the ex-PTA treasurer accused of stealing up to $100,000 from a Brooklyn elementary school so she could pay for fertility treatments, among other expenses?

Before I found out that a clotting disorder I didn’t know I had caused three miscarriages, I starting poking around for information about fertility treatments like Clomid and in vitro fertilization. When I learned IVF can cost up to $25,000 a pop and no insurance company in my state covers it, I sat down and wept. Had there been a bank with its vault wide open and a Welcome doormat at that moment, I’m not sure what I would have done.

Providence Hogan, 44, might have felt the same way. She acted as the treasurer for a parent teacher association at Public School 29 in Cobble Hill, and has been charged with swindling money raised for the kids. If convicted of the top charge against her of grand larceny, Hogan would be looking at up to 15 years in prison, although she could avoid jail time entirely if she returns the money in full.

“The PTA is focused on the return of the stolen money,” said a lawyer from the firm representing the parent group pro bono to the New York Daily News. “A full and timely restitution will be a condition to any plea.”

I can’t think of a worse lesson for kids than to point to someone working on their behalf who stole money meant for them. But if she really did use money for fertility treatments, my heart softens a little (although reading she also used some of the money to pay rent for her spa business make me feel a little less bad for her).

It’s a terrible feeling to want a child and think that money is what’s standing in your way. But stealing from kids to have a kid clearly wasn’t the wisest choice.

Do you feel any less bad about this case knowing what the money was being used for?

Image: Creative Commons

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