Couple stole thousands from elementary PTA in Hutto

Highlights

Police: Ray Elementary PTA vice president and husband cashed more than $14,700 in unauthorized checks.

Natalie Hudson-Rapp told police it was normal for her to forge signatures on PTA checks, an affidavit said.

A Parent Teacher Association vice president and her husband are accused of draining the account of the Ray Elementary PTA in Hutto dry by cashing more than $14,700 in unauthorized checks, according to an arrest affidavit.

Natalie Hudson-Rapp, 40, and Clinton Rapp, 46, were both charged with theft, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Hudson-Rapp was the vice president of the Ray Elementary PTA for the 2016-2017 school year, the affidavit said.

It said she had been given the checkbook for the school’s PTA in the middle of December 2016 to take care of bills and to look after the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Police were notified June 29 when a Ray Elementary PTA board member said she received a phone call from the A+ Federal Credit Union concerning suspicious activity on the PTA’s account involving returned checks from Hudson-Rapp and her husband, the affidavit said.

The credit union said the checking account for the PTA had no money in it, according to the affidavit. The PTA board member who notified police said she had copies of more than 31 checks that Hudson-Rapp and Clinton Rapp had cashed from Dec. 16, 2016, to June 26 that showed they had withdrawn more than $17,000 at various A+ Federal Credit Unions, according to the affidavit.

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It said none of the checks were for expenditures approved by the elementary school’s PTA board as required. Checks that are authorized require two signatures, the affidavit said. Three people were authorized to sign checks for the elementary PTAs account, including Hudson-Rapp, according to the affidavit.

It said the board member who reported the thefts to police said some of the unauthorized checks cashed by Hudson-Rapp and her husband had her pre-signed signature on them because she had been asked to pre-sign some checks in case she was unavailable for a signature.

The board member also told police some of the unauthorized checks the couple cashed had her forged signature on them, the affidavit said.

Hudson-Rapp said at the PTA meetings that the balance of the checking account was around $17,000 and no one ever questioned her until the credit union called in June, according to the affidavit.

When a detective called Hudson-Rapp on Nov. 1, she said she had the checkbook and other property belonging to the Ray Elementary PTA, the affidavit said. It said Hudson-Rapp told police it was “normal” for her to forge other people’s signatures on PTA checks because the checks required two signatures.

Hudson-Rapp said she would have to reimburse herself for buying classroom items on Amazon for teachers so she wrote reimbursement checks to her husband, the affidavit said.

It said she was not able to show any proof that she had purchased the items from Amazon for the teachers. Hudson-Rapp was being held in the Williamson County Jail on Friday with bail set at $10,000. Rapp was released from the Williamson County Jail with bail set at $7,500.

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