Houston High Booster Club treasurer indicted

Former Houston High School Football Booster Club Treasurer Valerie Baker treated the club’s funds like her personal piggy bank when she stole at least $20,112 in 2018, according to Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

An investigation by Tennessee Comptroller’s Office resulted in Baker’s indictment after investigators alleged that she used the booster club’s debit card to withdraw cash, make unauthorized purchases, and pay off a personal car loan. Baker also allegedly wrote booster club checks payable to cash and then cashed them for her personal use.

Baker reportedly admitted that she used her assigned booster club debit card for unauthorized transactions and purchases.

The investigation began after the booster club president became suspicious of Baker’s withdrawals from the club’s checking account. He reported the activity to the Comptroller’s Office.

In July 2019, Valerie Baker was indicted by Shelby County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000 and one count of forgery under $2,500.

Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said, “It is fortunate the club president noticed this activity and reported it; however, it’s important that controls are put in place to prevent theft before it occurs.

“Financial responsibilities must be shared by multiple individuals to provide appropriate oversight and accounting.”

Anyone who suspects fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee may call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at 800-232-5454, or file a report online at www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline.