Jeffrey F. Rosen, District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON: Christine Garcia-Sen, Deputy District Attorney Major Fraud Unit (408)792-2724   For release on May 18, 2011   FORMER TRACE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PTO PRESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM THE ORGANIZATION    On May 12th, 2011, 40 year-old Vanessa Eleana Reyes, of San Gabriel, entered a no contest plea in Santa Clara County Superior Court to felony grand theft. Reyes was the president of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for Merritt Trace Elementary School in San Jose from 2008-2009.  Reyes used the PTO’s debit card to withdraw cash and to make over $20,000 in unauthorized purchases for items such as hair styling, meals, clothing, sports equipment and a trip to Legoland.   Her scheme was discovered when a new PTO member reviewed the organization’s financial documents and noticed a suspicious iTunes transaction. Further review of the PTO’s financial documents revealed numerous unauthorized transactions by Reyes as well as the organization’s treasurer, co-defendant Anne Zingale.   As part of a plea agreement, Reyes has paid restitution for the full amount that she stole with interest. She is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1st, 2011. She will receive a jail sentence of up to one year.   The District Attorney’s office acknowledges the investigation of Detective Mark Huiskens of the San Jose Police Department Financial Crimes Unit.   ###

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