Garwin woman guilty of stealing from school booster club

Johna Smith.

A Garwin woman has pled guilty to felony theft for stealing from the Green Mountain-Garwin School District Parents Association, also known as the GMG Booster Club.

Johna Lin Smith, 35, of Garwin was arrested on Sept. 9, 2021 following an investigation by the Tama County Sheriff’s Office where she is alleged to have stolen over $4,500 from the volunteer school booster club.

Members of the GMG Booster Club notified law enforcement in September after they noticed suspicious transactions on the club’s checking account statement from the Meskwaki Bingo Casino and Hotel and from ATM machines in Marshalltown.

The account was linked to one debit card that is typically passed between members to purchase concessions for school sporting events throughout the year.

According to court documents, Smith was the treasurer for the club and was in possession of the debit card during the time when the transactions occurred in July and August.

Club members were concerned that Smith worked at the casino where several of the suspicious transactions took place.

Charges of second and third degree theft were eventually brought against Smith after an investigation by the Tama County Sheriff’s Office and the Tama County Attorney.

Smith faces two counts of second degree theft.

The first charge occurred between Aug. 16 and 17 when Smith unlawfully used the club’s debit card to withdraw $1,632.50 cash at the Meskwaki Casino.

The second charge alleges that on Aug. 18 Smith again unlawfully used the club’s debit card to withdraw another $2,100 cash at the Meskwaki Casino.

The third degree theft charge alleges that between July 7 and Aug. 20 Smith unlawfully used the club’s debit card to make cash withdrawals totaling $800 from ATM machines at Kwik Star convenience stores in Marshalltown.

During her arraignment in early November Smith pled not guilty to all three charges and was awaiting a trial date set in January 2022.

Then on Dec. 15 Smith entered another written plea, this time pleading guilty to the first count of second degree theft.

Second degree theft is considered a Class D Felony.

The plea agreement entered by Smith asked the court to dismiss counts two and three in exchange for Smith pleading guilty to count one, the second degree theft charge for $1,632.50.

The court accepted the plea and a sentencing hearing has been set for Feb. 3, 2022 in Tama County Court.

Smith faces a maximum sentence of up to five years confinement and a fine of up to $10,245.