Almanac

Schools - March 12, 2014

Insurance will cover fraud loss by school foundation

The investment account of the Portola Valley Schools Foundation, which was defrauded of $182,500 over the fall of 2013, has been made whole, a foundation official told the Almanac.

The foundation's fraud-protection insurance covered the situation and restoration came Friday, Feb. 28, said foundation co-president Randy Von Feldt, who had predicted a full recovery.

Irregularities in the foundation's accounts turned up in November 2013 during a monthly reconciliation of the books, Mr. Von Feldt said at the time.

A series of false checks, written between early September and early November 2013, transferred money from the foundation's Charles Schwab account into a JP Morgan Chase account at an unknown location, according to a San Mateo County Sheriff's Office report.

Checks for between $15,000 and $20,000 were written out to "Eye For Design LLC" in Monroe, Connecticut. The checks had been pre-printed with the foundation's name misspelled and without an address, but with correct account and routing numbers, deputies said. The check numbers were significantly out of sequence, Mr. Von Feldt said.

As for counter-signatures, the counterfeiters appeared to have used forged signatures of two foundation members.

Investigators from Charles Schwab, the U.S. Postal Police and investment management firm BNY Mellon in New York worked on the case, Mr. Von Feldt said.

Asked if the investigation is over and if suspects were identified, Mr. Von Feldt said he had no information about suspects and that he is "not 100 percent certain" that the investigation is complete.

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