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Music booster arrested on suspicion of embezzling $44,000 set for Oak Ridge High School program

Gloria Rodrigues of El Dorado Hills will be charged with 15 counts of embezzlement and forgery relating to stolen funds from the Oak Ridge High School Music Boosters program, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said.
Gloria Rodrigues of El Dorado Hills will be charged with 15 counts of embezzlement and forgery relating to stolen funds from the Oak Ridge High School Music Boosters program, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said. El Dorado County Sheriff's Office

The treasurer of a high school music booster program was arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds totaling more than $44,000 for her own personal use, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices.

Gloria Rodrigues of El Dorado Hills faces 15 charges of embezzlement and forgery after allegedly taking funds from the Oak Ridge High School Music Boosters program. Rodrigues will be arraigned Monday, said Assistant District Attorney Joe Alexander.

Funds from the boosters program, a nonprofit organization, help support students and staff who participate in Oak Ridge’s music department, according to the Music Boosters website.

In late May, representatives from the organization convened a special board meeting to address inconsistencies in their financial records. They found “several suspicious financial transactions,” said Sgt. Anthony Prencipe of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

Board members contacted the district’s school resource officer, who subsequently reached out to detectives from the Sheriff’s Office.

On May 25, detectives obtained a search warrant and combed through Rodrigues’ home, where there were “a lot of documents to go through,” Prencipe said.

Last Thursday, more than two months after the initial search, officers arrested Rodrigues and booked her on suspicion of 40 crimes relating to forgery and embezzlement, Prencipe said.

Those 40 counts were given to representatives from the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, who decided to file a complaint with 15 felony counts against Rodrigues, Alexander said.

The first is an embezzlement charge, which alleges that Rodrigues stole $44,036.63 from the Oak Ridge Music Boosters program.

The remaining 14 counts each represent an instance of forgery. Rodrigues allegedly forged Music Boosters board members’ signatures on checks for her personal use 14 times between November 1, 2017 and February 25, 2018, Alexander said.

If convicted of all 15 charges, Rodrigues would face a maximum prison sentence of 12 years and 4 months, according to Alexander. Alexander also speculated that Rodrigues would be liable to pay back the Music Boosters in full, plus dole out additional fines.

All charges will be brought against Rodrigues next Monday morning, when she is scheduled to be arraigned, Alexander said.

Oak Ridge Music Boosters President Suzanne Campanello did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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