Dawn Brown Martin, 50, was arrested Friday morning on charges of felony theft by taking. As of Friday night, she remained in the Cobb County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
According to the warrant, Martin is accused of taking $40,117.25 between Jan. 2 and Oct. 4, 2012.
“(Martin) held the position within the band booster club of vice president of bingo,” according to the warrant. “They held fundraisers at the VFW in Marietta to raise money for the Wheeler High School Band.”
She is accused of taking the money home from the fundraisers and making monthly deposits into personal accounts.
“It is unfortunate and disappointing that this situation has occurred,” said Jay Dillon, spokesman for Cobb Schools.
Dillon said the booster club’s strict accounting protocols led to the discovery of the missing funds.
“This case will be prosecuted in the legal system, and we intend to take whatever steps are available to recover the lost funds,” he said.
Dillon said booster clubs are in charge of their own finances, without any oversight from the school system. And in this case, the booster club was able to identify financial discrepancies on its own.
“If a booster club has reason to suspect something is amiss, they can ask the school and the district to step in and audit the books,” he added. “That was not necessary in this case as the missing funds were identified through a comparison of account records.”
This is not the first time someone has been arrested at a Cobb public school, much less Wheeler, in connection with stealing funds from a booster club account.
In October 2010, the former treasurer of Wheeler’s cheerleading booster club was arrested in connection with taking $27,297 from the Wheeler Cheer Association sometime between January 2008 and February 2010.
In May 2012, a Kennesaw woman was arrested and charged with taking more than $2,000 from the Sprayberry High School track and field booster team.
She, too, was the treasurer of the club and reportedly withdrew $2,257.02 from the booster club’s account and deposited it into her own account from June to August 2011.
In the fall of 2011, two women were arrested and charged in separate cases of theft after one was accused of stealing $5,350.25 from the Pebblebrook High School track team and a second is accused of stealing $4,058.53 from Powers Ferry Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Association funds.