Gilroy – More than five years ago, Lori McVicar pilfered more than $50,000 from an elementary school parents club – and she still hasn't paid it back.
McVicar admitted Thursday morning in a San Jose courtroom that she hadn't fully repaid the $54,533.39, owed to the Rod Kelley Parents Club as a condition of her probation, according to witnesses who attended the hearing. During her one-year term as club treasurer, from January 2000 to January 2001, McVicar embezzled stunning sums, forging at least 16 checks intended for library books, crayons and a new playground. Court records show that after club members signed off on the checks, bound for the school district or other payees, McVicar used liquid paper to remove payees' names, then wrote in her own. Club members grew suspicious when bounced checks and phone calls from South Valley National Bank revealed the club's funds were short.
In May 2002, after being convicted of grand theft and forgery, she was ordered to repay the club by March 4 of this year, when her probation was scheduled to end.
But McVicar hasn't paid up. According to Laura Case, a former club member who says she sunk "hours and hours" into investigating the theft, Rod Kelley records show she still owes nearly $28,000 to the club. Years after the scandal, Case is still incensed.
"To a corporation, it probably doesn't sound like much," she added, "but it's a huge amount for the school."
At Thursday's hearing, a judge revoked McVicar's probation, stopping the clock on her case. McVicar was ordered to pay $100 to the club as a good-faith payment by March 6, when she will reappear in court, for a probation extension and a revised payment plan, said deputy district attorney Kathy Storton.
"Her payment history is dismal," Storton said. "The court is very interested in seeing her get a second job – and increase her payments."
McVicar will also provide information on her financial assets and income to the court, said Storton.
Since McVicar's theft, Gilroy schools have taken extra precautions to protect parent club funds, raised by students for campus perks, said Case. In 2001, as news of the embezzlement broke, she recalled, some parents were suspicious of other club members, asking, " 'How could you not have noticed?' "
"Unfortunately," Case said, "she was very good at what she did."