Today’s news:

PTA embezzler locked up for shirking restitution payments

Brooklyn Daily

The former PTA treasurer who looted $82,000 from a Cobble Hill elementary school was jailed Wednesday for failing to make scheduled court-orderd restitution payments.

Providence Hogan was arrested in 2011 and charged for embezzling funds from PS 29’s PTA treasury, which she spent on fertility treatments and the rent on both her home and Providence Day Spa, her Atlantic Avenue business that is now located on Nelson Street.

As part of a sweetheart deal to keep the 45-year-old mom out of jail if she paid back everything she stole, Hogan handed over $50,000 of the pilfered lump sum in 2011 and was required to make scheduled payments until the stolen funds were paid off.

But Hogan, who showed up in Brooklyn Supreme Court empty-handed on Wednesday, is short $17,700, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Hogan, who’s behind bars in Rikers’ female-only jail, will be released next week. But she could face up to a six-year sentence if she doesn’t pony up the full reimbursement by Jan. 2014, the District Attorney’s office said.

Hogan’s lawyer, Stephen Flamhalft, did not return calls for comment by press time.

As treasurer of the Henry Street school, Hogan had unrestricted access to the PTA’s checkbook, and after the PTA discovered a gap in its tax returns, she admitted to cutting several big checks to herself ranging from $6,000 to $52,000 between 2008 and 2010.

Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Mondo warned the former PTA mom back in 2011 that those restitution payments had better come in on time.

“If you fail to make one payment, I will order a warrant for your arrest, and when you are brought in, you will be incarcerated,” said Mondo in 2011. “I am not going to accept any excuses for your failure to make a future payment.”

Mondo stuck to her guns when she ordered Hogan back into custody on Wednesday.

This isn’t the first time Hogan has missed a payment.

Hogan failed to make her first court-ordered restitution payment of $40,000. Flamhaft tried to work out a deal for Hogan to pay $30,000 up front and the rest over four years, but District Attorney Charles Hynes threatened to take Hogan to trial if she didn’t return the money.

Hogan claimed she was destitute and that “this ordeal has been jail” — and that she would rather go to Rikers than return money she no longer had.

Weeks later, Flamhaft met with Mondo and asked for leniency.

Hogan was able to make the $50,000 payment after an acquaintance of Hogan’s bought a sizable portion of her spa business, according to her lawyer. She also received donations from neighbors after the New York Times wrote a sympathetic portrait of the embezzling mom. Calls to PS 29’s PTA were not returned by press time.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

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Anon from Williamsburg says:
"Momstrosity?" She made a terrible mistake, but she is a remorseful and broke victim of domestic violence. She has also paid back most of the money; she owes $17,700 of the $82,000. These parents put a classmate's mother in prison because she owes 3.54% of the school's $500,000 PTA budget. PS 29 students are not suffering - this is a wealthy public school - but Ms. Hogan's child certainly is. Shame on Brooklyn.
May 11, 2013, 7:27 pm
Anon from PS29 Parent says:
Great point! She certainly doesn't deserve jail for anything less than 5% of my kids school budget. 3.54% is certainly trivial. But you know, we're all parasites. She's the real victim. Thanks for putting it all in perspective.
May 11, 2013, 8:09 pm
Anon from Williamsburg says:
She stole from the PTA budget (PTA funds), not the school budget (DOE funds). http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/nyregion/at-wealthy-schools-ptas-help-fill-budget-holes.html?pagewanted=all

Putting her in jail in not the answer ("parasites" can't get money from a prisoner).

An aside: simple internal controls would have prevented this. The the silver lining of this case is that PTAs are more careful with their books.
May 11, 2013, 11:09 pm
Yeah Right from Yeahrightville says:
She pleaded guilty to systematically stealing thousands of dollars that had been painstakingly raised to support the learning environment of a local public school serving hundreds of kids, ages 4-11. While she is certainly a pitiably flawed and tragic character, this was not a one-time, oopsy-daisy, I-shouldn't-have-done-that situation but a deliberate scheme carried out over years: multiple counts of falsifying business documents grand larceny. Go down to 320 Jay some time and see how many young African American guys -- many fathers -- are being sent up the river for stealing an iPhone and then think 2x before feeling so sorry for this white woman and her "big mistake." It is worth noting she has continued to con every way she can -- for instance, industriously pitching 'holiday deals' on gift certificates to a spa she knew she was folding before they could be honored. She continued to cheat her landlords out of thousands in rent. The line of creditors is a neighborhood deep. Her claims of being on her "death bed" and of "womanly illnesses" are not a new part of her con. How embarrassing for Flamhaft that he is willing to stoop to being quoted in the New York Times about her vague Victorian maladies. Her allegations about abuse are not new either, though before it was her childhood that she said had been abusive. Regardless, it is tragic, especially for her daughter, but no matter what -- especially after receiving such a sweetheart deal to avoid prison -- it is a tragedy of Ms. Hogan's own design. That plea deal was an amazing second chance. Many in the community were optimistic that she could turn herself around. Let's hope she shows up this week with the money she owes the kids.
May 13, 2013, 1:53 pm
Yeah Right from Yeahrightville says:
Above should read: Multiple counts of falsifying business documents AND grand larceny.

Again, not exactly small potatoes.
May 13, 2013, 3:10 pm

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