Santa Rosa: Treasurer Of Education Foundation In Sebastopol Accused of Embezzlement

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SANTA ROSA (BCN)- A Sebastopol woman who worked as a volunteer for a nonprofit education foundation was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling more than $40,000, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

Melissa Ann Riley, 46, is scheduled to appear in Sonoma County Superior Court Friday afternoon. She was booked in the Sonoma County Jail on one count each of embezzlement and grand theft.

Riley worked as a volunteer treasurer for the Twin Hills Apple Blossom Education Foundation since August 2018, sheriff’s Sgt. Juan Valencia said.

The foundation is an all-volunteer parent group that raises money to supplement children’s education through music, art, and other enrichment programs in the Apple Blossom Elementary and Twin Hills Charter Middle schools in the Twin Hills Unified School District in Sebastopol.

A former bookkeeper for the nonprofit discovered a zero balance in the nonprofit’s bank account in December, and Riley is suspected of transferring the money to several bank accounts she controlled, the sheriff’s office said.

Valencia said the monetary loss to the foundation is believed to be more than $40,000.

“There was no way of tracking all donations,” Valencia said.

Anyone who donated to the foundation, especially cash, is asked to call the sheriff’s office.

“We need to know the exact amount,” Valencia said.

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