Hollister Woman Accused of Embezzling From High School Band

Band will now have to fundraise through the rest of the year

Safeguards against embezzlement

HOLLISTER, Calif. - "You don't know it's real until it actually happens to you and I think that was the hardest thing," said San Benito High School senior Kelsie Perry.

Tuesday night, members of the San Benito High School band and their parents were shocked to learn the woman once in charge of the band's money is accused of stealing nearly $60,000.  The booster club is the group's only source of funding and now it's gone.  Sheriff's deputies said the alleged scheme was revealed after the bank rejected a check the band's director was trying to cash.

Debra Curtis is accused of using the club's ATM card to withdraw $57,000 from the Baler Boosters Club.

We spoke with a senior who is on the color guard team and her father.  They told us how hard everyone in band works to raise money for them to perform.

Perry said she's been doing color guard for the past six years because she loves to perform and be with her friends.  They practice five days a week and work hard through out the year to raise enough money, so everyone can go to competitions and afford costumes.  Perry said they found out about the allegation against Curtis on Monday night at a special meeting.

"They did say our show is paid for.  There's small stuff that we're going to have to pay for ourselves and we're really gonna need to start fundraising," Perry said.

Perry's dad Scott said his big concern, is that some families may not have the extra money to put toward paying for even the small things throughout the rest of the year. 

Perry said Curtis has two kids who are also in the band.  She hopes everyone continues to be supportive and understanding that the two kids have nothing to do with the charges brought against their mom.

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