NLR Woman Arrested in $12K School Theft Investigation

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A local woman has been arrested after an investigation into missing money from an elementary school where she worked part-time.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) says Crystal Faye Phillips, 33, was charged on Tuesday with Fraudulent Use of a Debit Card and Theft of Property.

According to an arrest affidavit for Phillips, she admitted to misusing Oak Grove Elementary School's debit card over the past three years.

While the total amount of missing funds came to $12,761.68, the PCSO says Phillips admitted to only half of it. However, the Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) auditor says Phillips is believed to be responsible for the total amount.

The Sheriff's Office says Phillips was a volunteer over the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) and that the stolen funds involved contributions and donations to the school. Phillips was also a lunch supervisor for the school, working only two hours a day.

According to a PCSO report, the school district discovered the missing money when it was contacted by a creditor who reported a payment that had been turned over to collections. That creditor gave Phillips' name as the person who had previously made payment.

The PCSSD auditor then ordered an audit which "turned into a much larger than expected job and the state auditor was called in to assist."

Phillips has a court date scheduled for next month.

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