Plea of Guilty Ends Missing Funds Investigation
Jamie Gladden, a former Groesbeck Band Booster treasurer, pled guilty to stealing approximately forty thousand dollars from the Groesbeck Band Boosters, via an open plea on September 1st, 2017in the 87th District Court in Limestone County, Judge Deborah Oakes Evans presiding. An open plea is one where no plea agreement is reached with the State; the Court has the full range of punishment. A presentence investigation report (PSI) was ordered by the Court. Prepared by the community supervision office, a PSI report summarizes the circumstances of the offense, restitution amounts, the criminal and social history of the defendant, and any other relevant data the judge may request. Gladden was sentenced on Friday, November 3rd, 2017.
Detective John Blanco testified that the Groesbeck Police Department began an investigation after a shortage of funds for the Groesbeck Band Boosters was discovered; the funds being taken in December 2013 and continuing into September 2016. Gladden was indicted by a Limestone County Grand Jury in October of 2016 for felony theft over $1500 from a nonprofit organization and felony theft over $20,000 from a nonprofit organization.
Theft over $1500 from a nonprofit organization is a third degree felony, with a punishment range of 2 years to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice- Institutional Division (TDCJ-ID) and a fine of up to $10,000.00. Theft over $20,000.00 from a nonprofit organization is a second degree felony, with a punishment range of 2 years to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice- Institutional Division (TDCJ-ID) and a fine of up to $10,000.00. If a defendant does not have any previous felony convictions, probation is also a punishment alternative.
The investigation revealed funds were taken from the Groesbeck Band Boosters bank account via ATM advances and cash transfers to pay personal debts and expenses of Gladden. When questioned by Groesbeck Police, Gladden confessed to stealing the missing funds.
Gladden was placed on ten years’ probation by the Court, and must pay $39,116.97 in restitution, court costs, $55.00 per month probation fee, serve 90 days in the Limestone County Jail (day for day with no good time) and perform 192 hours community service. County Attorney Roy DeFriend stated: “Unfortunately, the defendant took advantage of a situation where trust had been placed in her, and she violated that trust. The Band Boosters worked hard for that money; money which would have allowed the band members of 2016 to take a band trip. Due to her actions, no trip was taken that year. The Court has given her a chance; hopefully, this will be a turning point for her. The County Attorney’s office appreciates the fine job done by the Groesbeck Police Department.”
If Gladden violates any term of her community supervision, she could be sentenced up to the full 20 years in prison, along with the maximum fine.