A West Covina woman accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the Girls Scouts and two other children’s organizations pleaded not guilty Monday to nine felony counts.
Veronica Monique Paderez, 38, is due back in a West Covina courtroom on June 16, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Prosecutors allege that Paderez embezzled funds from the Parent Teacher Association at Vine Elementary School in West Covina, the West Covina American Little League and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles from 2013 to 2015.
Police — who were contacted by the Vine Elementary School PTA — said following Paderez’s arrest in February that she had been involved with the PTA since 2014, had served as treasurer and secretary of the organization and had access to the PTA’s accounts.
A preliminary audit revealed losses of more than $52,000 from alleged fraudulent transactions.
Police said an investigation determined that she was a volunteer with and involved in the finances and bank accounts of the West Covina American Little League, which lost more than $26,000, and Girl Scout Troop No. 4754. The amount of the troop’s alleged loss was not available.
—Staff and wire reports
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