January 21, 2020
 
Former PTO Council Treasurer Charged with False Tax Return

January 10, 2020 — The former treasurer of the Newton Parent Teacher Organization Council, a nonprofit umbrella organization composed of 21 Parent Teacher Organizations in the city, accused last summer in connection with the theft of $14,000 from the council, was charged earlier this week with filing a fraudulent tax return.

Rebecca Craig reportedly pleaded innocent Tuesday morning in Suffolk Superior Court to a false claim charge and a charge of making a false statement to a tax agency, according to MassLive.com.

The new charges, according to the office of the attorney general (AG), relate to an allegedly false 2018 tax return, MassLive reported.

Craig has been held on $100,000 bail since her arrest last summer, according to the Patch, "but she asked to have her bail reduced to $1,000 bail on Tuesday. Judge Robert Tochka set her bail at $25,000."

The Newton PTO Council, as well as individual PTOs, operates separately from the Newton Public Schools and maintain its own nonprofit status.

Last August, Craig was indicted by a statewide grand jury on 27 counts, including presentation of false claims (10 counts), making a false statement to the tax commissioner (10 counts), submitting a false insurance claim (3 counts), forgery (1 count), and larceny over $250 (3 counts), the AG's office said.

The AG’s office alleged that from 2013 through 2018, Craig engaged in various fraudulent schemes and thefts, several of which involved the submission of falsified or altered documents in support of insurance claims.

In addition, the AG’s office alleged that Craig submitted falsified tax returns, resulting in her receipt of tax refunds totaling $11,318, to which she was not entitled. Also, the AG’s office alleged, Craig, who served as the treasurer for the Newton PTO Council from 2013 to 2014, funneled $14,593 from the organization to her personal accounts.

The Newton PTO Council, established in the 1970s to advocate for local schools and schoolchildren, is composed of presidents or co-presidents of each PTO.

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