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History's Worst Monster Charged With Embezzling From Little League, Girl Scouts, PTA

Photo illustration. (Veronica Paderez mugshot courtesy of West Covina PD)
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A former PTA treasurer allegedly stole more than $52,000 from her daughter's elementary school while also embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the Girl Scouts and the American Little League.

Veronica Monique Paderez, 37, has been charged with nine felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that Paderez is accused of embezzling from Vine Elementary PTA (where she served as treasurer for the 2014-2015 school year), West Covina American Little League and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles from 2013 to 2015. Paderez's daughter was a member of the Girl Scout troop and her older son was involved with Little League.

West Covina Police told the Tribune that the money Paderez embezzled from the PTA and the Little League likely totaled more than $78,000. Detectives are still trying to determine the exact amount stolen from the Girl Scout Troop #4754, according to an earlier Tribune article.

Fred Jackmovich, president of the West Covina American Little League, told the Tribune that more than $26,000 was embezzled from the league in 2015. He said Paderez had been involved with the league for 10 years and had once served as treasurer. In her last two years, she was the auxiliary vice president and in charge of concessions.

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During his conversation with the Tribune, Jackmovich also recounted how the theft was discovered:

In January, he said the league got a tip from someone about the embezzlement. "When I first found out, I got all the books together and contacted our district administrator. I had a meeting with the executive board," Jackmovich said.

He had the district audit the books.

"Things didn't add up. Then we turned the books over to an independent auditor," he said.

They found checks were made out to the PTA, the Girls Scouts and vice versa, according to Jackmovich. He said the league was told certain vendors had been paid then found instances where money had been taken out but not given to the vendors.

Paderez was removed from the nonprofit league's board in February, the same month that she was arrested. She was scheduled to be arraigned today, but the court appearance has been rescheduled for May 16, according to the District Attorney's office.

"I want justice to be served. She stole from kids. She stole from three wholesome groups in America—the PTA, Little League and the Girls Scouts," Jackmovich told the Tribune.