The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Woman Arrested for Defrauding School Organization

Key West Police Criminal Investigations Unit Detectives have arrested the former president of the Poinciana Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization for allegedly stealing nearly $10,000 from a fund intended for student functions and activities.

Vivian Tapia-Smith, 38, faces a felony charge for committing an organized scheme to defraud less than $20,000.

In August, it was discovered that Tapia-Smith had been making unauthorized cash withdrawals since late December of 2018. Documents indicate Tapia-Smith made more than 20 unauthorized withdrawals for a total of more than $9,800 from the PTO account. Financial records also indicate the cash that was stolen from the PTO account would subsequently be deposited into Tapia-Smith’s personal bank account.

Tapia-Smith made enough unauthorized cash withdrawals to cause the PTO to run out of funding for legitimate purchases.

Tapia-Smith was arrested without incident and transported to the Monroe County Detention Center where she is being held on a $50,000 bond.