Santa Rosa, CA – March 27, 2018 – Defendant Mary
Katherine David, 38 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced yesterday by the
Honorable Patrick Broderick to serve six months in county jail, and 48 months on
formal probation after having pled no contest in January to grand theft and
forgery charges. The charges were the result of David having embezzled nearly
$50,000 from the Rancho Cotati Project Graduation non-profit organization. In
addition to the six month of actual jail, the court ordered an additional three
month jail term that can be served through jail alternatives. Various members
of the Project Graduation Board spoke at the hearing.
Attorney Jill Ravitch stated, “This defendant took advantage of the trust
placed in her by this organization to further her own self interests.
Therefore, we believe the jail sentence is appropriate. We also believe the
lengthy period of supervised probation will help ensure she is closely
monitored in the community.”
David served as treasurer for Rancho Cotati’s Project Graduation, a safe and
sober graduation party for high school graduates run by parent volunteers. Over
her term as treasurer, she began writing checks to herself in amounts between
$200 and $1000, forging the board president’s signature on the checks. In order
to conceal the dwindling money in the bank account, David falsely reported bank
balances and submitted false ledger sheets to the board. By April 2017, checks
to legitimate vendors started to bounce, and it was discovered that the Project
Graduation bank account was in a negative balance. It was further discovered
that David had embezzled approximately $50,000.
raisers were held in the six weeks leading up to the Project Graduation event.
The largest was sponsored by the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department which
raised approximately $25,000. Enough funds were donated by the community for a
successful Project Graduation for the 2017 graduates. Additionally, the
defendant, together with her friends and family, was able to pay full
restitution to Project Graduation. David was
remanded into custody at the conclusion of sentencing.
The case was
prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Emily Malfatti. The Rohnert Park Public
Safety Department headed the investigation.