UPDATE: Breaking News: Collierville Middle School Band Director, who was charge with stealing $133,000, has been found dead in his home.
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office says a former Collierville Middle School band director has been arrested, accused of stealing more than $130,000 from the band booster club.
Jason Seek was arrested November 22 on charges of theft of property over $60,000.
The investigation began after Collierville Schools officials reported receiving suspicious bank records from Seek.
Investigators say Seek admitted to using the club’s money for personal expenses, and creating fake documents to back it up. They say Seek stole $133,064 over a 5-year period from December 2011 through November 2016. They say he withdrew cash, used the club’s debit card, wrote checks, and transferred money from the club’s account.
Investigators say most of the cash withdrawals lined up with gambling trips Seek took across the country.
They also say Seek created 13 fake bank statements to conceal the theft, and signed the former band booster treasurer’s name on checks and a fake financial report for the school.
Seek resigned from Collierville Schools April 20, 2017.
“Booster clubs are required by law to adopt procedures for safeguarding money, but many organizations have failed to do so,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “For most of the five-year period, the former band director was the only person who handled the booster club’s money. When one person has total control, it invites the possibility of wrongdoing.”
Collierville Schools released a statement Tuesday, saying in part:
In the spring of 2016, both the principal and the financial secretary of Collierville Middle School became suspicious of irregularities in the financial documents submitted by Mr. Seek on behalf of the Collierville Band Boosters.
In compliance with state law and established district procedures, the school immediately notified both the superintendent and the Office of the Comptroller. Based upon the preliminary results of the Comptroller’s investigation, Mr. Seek was suspended without pay from Collierville Schools on November 21, 2016, and never returned to work.
Mr. Seek subsequently resigned from Collierville Schools on April 20, 2017, rather than face tenure charges before the Board of Education.
To view the investigation online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter @TNCOT