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Former Imperial Beach PTA president charged with embezzlement

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 20:47:18-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Imperial Beach Charter School PTA president was arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds from the group, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Financial Crimes Unit said Wednesday.

A warrant was issued in November for 30-year-old Kaitlyn Birchman, a mother of two. Riverside County deputies arrested Birchman late Tuesday night at her home in Temecula.

Birchman was the head of the Imperial Beach Charter School's parent-teacher association until March, when she was voted off the board. Other members said her departure followed months of missing funds.

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“There were thousands of dollars that hadn’t been paid,” current PTA treasurer and former Coronado Police sergeant Elizabeth McKay said.

According to McKay, vendors from previous years sent the PTA bills for unpaid services. McKay contacted the bank and discovered the PTA’s account no longer existed.

“The checks...she had written to herself and signed herself. ATM withdrawals that weren't anywhere near Imperial Beach or had anything to do with a PTA event."

The PTA confronted Birchman in March with the help of a Sheriff’s deputy, who spoke about embezzlement.

"She [Birchman] said that it was just a misunderstanding,” McKay said. “It was a lot of blind faith that they thought if she says everything is okay, then everything must be okay."

Birchman was booked in Riverside County and posted bond.