CHICAGO – Parents said volunteers ripped off a Girl Scout troop on Chicago's northwest side and stole $5,700.
Louisa Hoyt's 8-year-old daughter, Lilly, worked hard with her Girl Scout Brownie Troop in Logan Square to sell cookies. But then, the troop’s money disappeared, and two volunteers, the troop's leader and her assistant, stopped responding to parents. The story was first reported by Block Club Chicago.
The volunteers told Girl Scout officials money had been stolen from their apartment, citing a police report number that turned out to be fake.
Hoyt said once she and other parents started digging they realized their signatures had been forged so the volunteers could cash checks the parents made out to the Girl Scouts. What made matters worse is that they learned that based on her background check, the Girl Scouts had flagged the troop leader as someone who should not handle money.
“It’s unfortunate. You do a background check and it comes as a red flag that they can't handle money but they did not disclose that to the parents,” Hoyt said.
“If someone in a background check is noted as someone who can't handle finances, they are partnered and the role of money management is expected to be with another volunteer,” Vice President of Member and Mission Engagement Julie Somogyi said.
Somogyi wouldn't talk specifics about the case but said the organization is actively investigating.
“All of the steps we're taking are really because we consider this to be a very serious issue and in our hearts and souls we are looking to have a positive resolution with the girls,” she said.
Girl Scout officials won't comment on whether they've turned the matter over to police.