JPSO: Booster club treasurer stole 48k to pay her personal bills - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

JPSO: Booster club treasurer stole 48k to pay her personal bills


METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Lakeshore Booster Club leaders said there was less than $1,000 left in the club's bank account after the club's treasurer allegedly stole $48,000.

When William Sherman took over as president of the booster club last fall, he had big plans.

"We wanted to update the infield, we wanted to build dugouts for our 7- 8-year-old field. They've never had dugouts. We were trying to put lighting in the batting cages, which it's never been done. And we also wanted to redo our concession stands," said Sherman.

Parents and booster club leaders put their trust in 44-year-old Melisa Colomb to handle the money that would pay for the updates.

"She was an average person. She was a CPA, and a mother. You figured, we were good. But it didn't work out that way for us," said Sherman.

After being contacted by their bank of possible fraud, Sherman said he was shocked to find $48,000 missing from their accounts.

"She used the money for her own personal gain," said Cmdr. John Fortunato of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. "She did admit to investigators that she did take the money."

Fortunato said detectives found a link between the booster club's account and Colomb's personal bills.

"Detective Arabie was able to learn though looking at bank records that credit cards were paid, bills were paid, purchases were made, etc., etc. - all with funds belonging to the playground," said Fortunato.

Fortunato said the alleged theft dates back to March of 2011, when Colomb first became the club's treasurer.

"She actually used the computer to cover up what she was doing," said Fortunato.

Sherman said Colomb stole the money from the concession stand fund where cash is often used, which is why he said $48,000 may be a conservative guess regarding the amount of money lost.

"There is some concern, but proving some of it is going to be impossible," said Sherman.

Now, no one in the club will have access to any blank checks.

"There's going to be a lot more people looking at the books. We're not just going to trust one treasurer. Every member of the board is going to sign off on every bank statement," said Sherman.

Thursday, Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies arrested Melisa Colomb, booking her with theft and computer fraud in connection with the case. Friday, deputies said Colomb was no longer in custody.

We were unable to reach Colomb for comment.

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