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Former Metro Nashville Elementary PTO President Charged with Theft

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | 12:00pm
CumberlandElementary

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of LaRon Bridgeforth, the former president of the Cumberland Elementary School PTO in Nashville.

The investigation began after the Metro Nashville Public Schools audit department reported questionable transactions in the PTO bank records. After the discovery of these transactions, Cumberland Elementary PTO operations were suspended.

Investigators determined that Bridgeforth stole at least $17,724.80 over a two-year period beginning in October 2014.

The majority of the cash ($17,025) was withdrawn from the PTO bank account and kept by Bridgeforth for his personal use. In one instance, he withdrew $1,000 while vacationing with his family in Florida.

Bridgeforth also used nearly $700 of the PTO’s money to purchase at least two gift cards. These gift cards were also used for his personal benefit.

In August 2018, LaRon Bridgeforth was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000.

“School support organizations, such as PTOs, are required by state law to ensure that funds are safeguarded,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “In this situation, more oversight was needed. This includes separating financial responsibilities and retaining adequate documentation for spending and withdrawals.”

To view the investigation online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800.232.5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter @TNCOT

Media contact: John Dunn, Public Information Officer, 615.401.7755 or john.dunn@cot.tn.gov

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