Cops: Leader stole $6K from Scouts
A former Grand Junction-area Girl Scouts troop leader is accused of stealing approximately $6,000 from the troop’s cookie fundraiser.
Carmen Jean Wysong, 27, 12880 Colorado Highway 65, Eckert, allegedly confessed in a tearful interview with a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department investigator she had spent $6,000 in cookie proceeds so she could make a deposit and two month’s rent on a home, in addition to payments on a truck, utilities and food, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Wysong was arrested Tuesday and formally advised on possible charges, including felony theft and false reporting. She was being held Thursday evening on $7,500 bond at the Mesa County Jail.
Wysong herself initiated the investigation which eventually led to her arrest.
She phoned authorities on March 28 and reported a zippered bank bag with the fundraiser money, which she said she’d left on her roommate’s dresser at her home, was missing. Wysong and her roommate were volunteer co-managers of Girl Scout Troop 12671.
Wysong told a deputy her roommate was the last person still living in the home when Wysong said she moved out on March 11, the affidavit said.
Local Girl Scouts officials said troop leaders are given a bank authorization letter to open a bank account for each troop, where cookie-sale proceeds are supposed to be deposited. Wysong and her co-manager signed the authorization, but never opened the account, the affidavit said.
Troop 12671 this spring reported sales totalling $6,870, including 1,963 boxes of cookies.
The co-manager, who offered to take a polygraph examination, said she returned home following a vacation and couldn’t find the bank bag with the troop’s money, but did find a note from Wysong’s ex-husband claiming she’d “drained” his bank account, the affidavit said.
In an interview Sept. 28 with an investigator, Wysong explained she left the money in the bank bag, as opposed to taking it to Girl Scouts, because she was being forced to wear an ankle monitor over a two-week period “and couldn’t leave her house.” The affidavit said she is serving probation, while court records indicate she has a deferred judgment stemming from a conviction for being an accessory to a crime in 2007.
Wysong was hesitant when offered a polygraph examination before allegedly admitting she’d spent all of the troop’s fundraiser cash.
In the aftermath, Girl Scouts Troop 12671 was disbanded, Wysong and her co-manager were dismissed and the seven girls in the troop who raised cash quit the organization, according to Rachelle Trujillo, a Denver-based spokesperson for Girl Scouts.
None of the girls have re-registered, she said.
“We’ll be reaching out to the girls who were unrelated to the managers,” Trujillo said. “It’s a sad situation, but the vast majority of our volunteers are doing the right thing.”