A former Parent Teacher Association president is accused of stealing more than $23,000 from the organization using forged checks and faces nearly 200 separate charges, including multiple counts of theft and forgery.

Ryanne M. Hartman, 41, recently resigned as the president of the Middletown Elementary School and Primary School Parent Teacher Association, according to charging documents. Another PTA parent contacted officials in October 2023 because the PTA suspected fraud.

All checks that would take money out of the PTA’s bank account required two signatures. In dozens of cases, Hartman, who was an authorized signer on checks, forged the signatures of a second authorized signer on checks made out to herself, according to investigators.

Investigators also allege Hartman applied for and received a $10,000 grant from the Town of Middletown for the PTA, saying the coronavirus pandemic made it more difficult for the PTA to fundraise. By the end of 2022, “nearly all of this grant money was stolen” and deposited into Hartman’s own bank account, according to charging documents.

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In total, Hartman is accused of taking $23,134.58 from multiple bank accounts and forging signatures 46 times to do so.

According to court records, these are some of the memo lines on checks that Hartman allegedly made out to herself from the PTA account:

A detective who investigated the payments did not find any outgoing payments from bank accounts associated with Hartman for the amounts that were indicated on the “reimbursement” checks made out to her, according to charging documents.

Another PTA parent told investigators there was only one incident — a $250 reimbursement check for paying a DJ — that even “COULD be for legitimate” expenses. But “for all other reimbursement checks Ryanne [Hartman] wrote herself there was either NO event or NO expense to the amount of a reimbursement check that can be justified.”

Hartman had “sole possession” of the PTA’s checkbook since 2019, when she was elected treasurer, according to charging documents. She never shared the checkbook or accounting information with other PTA members, even after she became president.

Christopher Rolle, an attorney listed for Hartman, did not respond to a request for comment.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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