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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Rancho Cotati Project Graduation Treasurer Sentenced to Jail

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.

District 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.”

From 2013-2017 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.

Various fund 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.




Contact Information

Joan Croft
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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