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Hartford man pleads not guilty to embezzling from parent-teacher organization

  • Wade Mullins (Vermont State Police photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/24/2021 9:36:51 PM
Modified: 2/24/2021 9:36:50 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 37-year-old Hartford man has pleaded not guilty to charges he stole over $10,000 from the Reading Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization while he served as treasurer.

Wade Mullins was arraigned on two counts of embezzlement Tuesday in Windsor Superior Court, according to a case summary. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Mann ordered him released on conditions until his trial, including the condition that he not “abuse or harass” members of the PTO or his estranged wife, the summary said.

The investigation into Mullins started with a text Mullins’ “soon-to-be ex-wife” Angie Mullins sent to the PTO secretary last year, saying they should look into the organization’s bank accounts and find a new treasurer, according to an affidavit by Vermont State Police Trooper Marina Pacilio. Mullins had been the PTO’s treasurer since 2014, according to police.

Following the call, the current president and a former president of the PTO audited the organization’s checking account and found evidence that over $10,000 may have gone missing since 2014, the affidavit said. Bank records show “numerous” instant money transfers from the account to Venmo and Paypal accounts, which is unusual, PTO members told police.

In a list of the PTO’s transactions, the president found multiple $100 checks had been made out to “cash” with notes that said “back to school” and “end of school,” even though those events did not require money from the PTO, according to the affidavit.

Barbara Lord, the PTO president, removed Mullins as treasurer in August and sent him an email asking him to return all checks and documents, according to the affidavit. Mullins replied in an email apologizing, saying he was ashamed, and asking to draw up a payment plan to “return everything and then some,” according to police.

The PTO contacted police in November, who took over the investigation. They questioned Angie Mullins, who said she alerted the PTO when she learned about the money and that she had nothing to do with the alleged embezzlement, police wrote.

Police arrested Wade Mullins in January. A future court date has not been set.

Anna Merriman can be reached at or 603-727-3216.

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