Jemicy PTO reports $17,000 in funds missing


Baltimore County police are investigating the disappearance of $17,000 from the Jemicy School's Parent Teacher Organization, whose treasurer also has been reported missing.

The PTO treasurer, accountant Howard Laing Epstein, 38, of the 8200 block of Anita Road in Stevenson, was reported missing by his wife Jan. 30. Police said they do not believe he has met with foul play.

Officials at Jemicy, an independent Owings Mills school for children with dyslexia, notified the police Jan. 31 that money was missing from the PTO bank balance.

Cpl. Kevin B. Novak, a county police spokesman, said no warrant has been obtained or charges lodged in connection with the missing money.

School officials began checking into the PTO bank balance when the organization began receiving overdue notices in January on bills that had not been paid.

In a Feb. 2 letter to members of the Jemicy community, school officials said an effort to have the PTO treasurer "turn over the PTO checking account and banking record to the PTO leadership" failed.

The letter also told parents of the treasurer's disappearance, describing it as "a great shock to all of us" at the Jemicy School.

Police said Mr. Epstein, a self-employed accountant, was last seen around 10 a.m. Jan. 30 when he left his office on Deereco Road in Timonium. His wife declined comment yesterday.

The missing funds, which were raised for special student activities and projects, do not affect the school's finances, according to Carla Katzenberg, a Jemicy spokeswoman.

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