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Ex-FFA alumni treasurer charged with theft

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Darryl Enriquez
March 10, 2011
— A former treasurer of the Delavan/Darien FFA Alumni Association is charged with stealing $32,000 from the group and using the money to cover her own bills.

Joy C. Becker, 51, of 129 Sharon St., Darien, has repaid the money, but a criminal complaint was filed Tuesday by the Walworth County District Attorney's Office charging her with felony theft.


The charge carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000.


Becker on Oct. 12 told Delavan police Detective Joaquin Alonzo that she had withdrawn the money from the alumni group's account at a bank in Darien, according to the complaint.


Becker told Alonzo that she attended association meetings but gave members incorrect accounting figures, according to the complaint.


Bank records show Becker made unauthorized withdrawals from April 2009 to October 2010, according to the complaint.


Martin Speth, a member of the association, said Wednesday that he told police the group's account was missing $32,000.


Speth is an agriculture teacher at Delavan-Darien High School. He also is an advisor to the school's student FFA chapter.


Speth emphasized that the association's account was separate from any school account.


Becker, treasurer for more than two years, was removed as treasurer, and the association has a new process in place for handling money and paying bills, Speth said.


The complaint further states:


On Oct. 15, Becker left two messages on Alonzo's voicemail saying she would repay all of the money and asking that she not be charged.


Alonzo told her that she was not being forced to repay money; it was her choice. Alonzo also told Becker that regardless of whether the money was repaid, she had committed a crime.


On Dec. 15, Alonzo received a $31,900 cashier's check from Becker that was made payable to the Delavan-Darien FFA Alumni Association and a $300 personal check dated Dec. 9 from Becker's personal account.


Becker is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on the charge March 1 before Walworth County Judge Robert Kennedy. She is free without bail.



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