REDWOOD CITY -- A father faces jail time for embezzling $14,000 from the parent teacher association at his son's Peninsula elementary school in order to pay his bills, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Mathew Hidalgo , who was president of the Margaret Brown Elementary School PTA in Daly City when he took the money, was due for sentencing Tuesday. But Hidalgo, 28, delayed the hearing to Oct. 3 because he wanted to be sentenced by a different judge, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Hidalgo pleaded no contest to felony embezzlement June 4 in San Mateo County Superior Court on the condition of no prison time and a maximum of six months in county jail. He's out of custody on his promise to appear at future court dates.
Between September and November 2012, Hidalgo wrote PTA account checks to "cash" and then took the money for himself, Wagstaffe said. He also didn't deposit book and ice cream fundraiser money into the group's bank account, Wagstaffe said.
The embezzlement began to unravel when Hildago reportedly told people he had used his own money to buy pumpkins for a fall school event. According to reports, the school's principal had bought them with her money and after hearing about Hildago's statement, she began to look into the PTA finances.
Hidalgo also said he had given $7,000 to the principal to buy new computers, but that also turned out to be untrue, Wagstaffe said.
When confronted by the principal, Hidalgo reportedly said he was borrowing money from the PTA account in order to prevent his car from being repossessed and to pay $5,000 in back taxes to the IRS, Wagstaffe said.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.