From Associated Press
August 02, 2006 3:52 AM EDT
DELAWARE, Ohio - A Girl Scout leader has been charged with stealing $5,000 raised by a central Ohio troop through cookie sales and other fundraisers.
Teresa Wickline, 42, of Lewis Center, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on a felony theft charge. Prosecutors accuse her of raiding the checking account of Troop 225 to pay for cell phone bills and other personal expenses.
She could spend up to 18 months in prison and be ordered to pay back the money if convicted.
"Five thousand dollars is a lot of Thin Mints," Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost said. "The only reason she had access to these funds is because people trusted her."
Parents noticed the troop had only $8 in the bank in January and alerted the Girl Scouts Seal of Ohio Council. Police became involved after checks written from the troop account bounced.
Girl Scout volunteers receive training on handling fundraisers and money, said Shawna Gibbs, council spokeswoman.
Troop 225 now has a new leader, Gibbs said.