ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – The treasurer of a West Michigan music boosters association has admitted to stealing between $100,000 to $200,000 from the program, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
Robyn Heintz, treasurer of the Kenowa Hills Instrumental Music Boosters Association – a group that raises money for music programs within the Kenowa Hills Public Schools system – was booked into the Kent County jail Thursday on one count of embezzlement over $100,000.
In early May, KHIMB board members contacted sheriff’s officials to report a fraud after seeing suspicious withdraws and charges over several months from the KHIMB bank account, according to a release from the sheriff’s department.
Investigators reviewed financial documents with the board and found hundreds of cash withdrawals and charges over two years, the sheriff’s department said.
Investigators interviewed Heintz, who had access to the KHIMB bank account in her role as treasurer with the association, and she confessed to the theft, according to sheriff’s officials. However, she didn’t tell officials what she did with the stolen money.
“This particular individual was responsible for the financial transactions of the booster club,” said Capt. Kevin Kelley with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. “She had full authority over the financial records. So she was able to write checks to herself and cash them.”
Kelley said it’s possible that the boosters association could get the stolen money back.
“It could very well get [the money] back,” he said. “Obviously, restitution could be ordered. But it’s a lot of money to have to be able to repay.”
Heintz is currently being held on $10,000 bond.
Anyone with information in the case should call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at 616.632.6100.
KHIMB President Scott Vugteveen released the following statement Thursday:
“The Kenowa Hills Instrumental Music Boosters organization is cooperating with the Kent County Sheriff Department in an ongoing investigation into the potential misappropriation of organization funds. Law enforcement and bank officials were contacted immediately when unusual transactions were discovered on bank statements. Members of the KHIMB Executive Board are working closely with members of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
Our primary concern is the recovery of any missing funds. All of our fundraising activities directly benefit kids in the program. Our focus will continue to be on providing opportunities for students to gain valuable life skills through music education.”