Uniontown man charged with taking $16K from PTO
A Uniontown man was charged Friday with stealing more than $16,000 while he served as treasurer of a city school district parent-teacher organization.
Paul G. Wozniak, 53, was arraigned on more than 100 counts of forgery and theft before Uniontown District Judge Michael Metros.
Wozniak wrote out checks to himself or to cash, or signed the names of other members of the Ben Franklin Home School Council PTO to checks between September 2009 and September 2014, Uniontown police said.
In all, $16,507.97 in fraudulent transactions were discovered, police said in an affidavit.
“He didn’t say a reason why,” police Lt. Thomas Kolencik said.
Members of the parent organization grew suspicious in September after they discovered “a member was using checks without the permission of the organization and also that bills were not being paid to companies who provided services for the PTO,” according to a police affidavit.
Wozniak was one of three members with authority to sign checks for the group, police said.
Police served a search warrant at a city bank and discovered 29 checks written to Wozniak or to cash, according to the affidavit.
Police said they then matched those checks, totaling $5,892.41, with deposits Wozniak allegedly made into his own account at a credit union.
Authorities found bills to three companies, totaling $4,863.58, for purchases for the parent-teacher group that were in default and involved in the collection process, according to the affidavit.
The two other members with authority to sign checks then reviewed 89 additional checks and discovered their names were written on the checks without their knowledge, police said.
One organization member said her name was falsely used on 34 checks, while the other identified 55 such checks, police said.
Authorities said they also discovered changed or fabricated bank statements, checks and records.
Wozniak, who is free on $25,000 bond, will have a preliminary hearing Dec. 2 before Metros.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724- 836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.