Embezzling Girl Scout Leader Arrested
By Derek Obregon
While most Girl Scouts have a positive influence on their communities, not everyone follows that rule. The last thing you would expect is for one of the leaders of these organizations, which are expected to be positive role models for the kids, would be the one to go astray.
Michelle Marie Villa was recently arrested for embezzling $5,000 from a Moreno Valley Girl Scout troop that she led. She was allegedly purchasing personal items, which included groceries, craft supplies, athletic gear, a computer and a printer; all using the troop’s debit card.
Redlands detectives served a search warrant at Villa’s house on Jan. 23 and arrested her that same day. She had lead the troop of about seven girls, one of which was her daughter, for about a year.
Officials of the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, which has its headquarters in Redlands, reported this alleged case of embezzlement to authorities back in December.
“Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio investigates all reports of misconduct by its leaders. If the findings warrant and it is believed a crime has been committed, the Council reports the alleged crime to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and cooperates fully with their investigation. This was the case with Ms. Villa and her alleged embezzlement,” officials with the organization said in an emailed statement.
All of the missing funds have been replaced because it is not the Scouts fault, and innocent little girls shouldn’t be punished for their leaders mistakes.
Although every volunteer who works with the Scouts go through background checks, some cases slip through. The Scouts never want to put any of their members in harms way.
Around 4,000 adult volunteers and 11,500 girls make up the organization. Honesty and integrity are held as some of the highest standards for Girl Scouts . . . let’s hope that they don’t learn from this Scout leader.