Wanell Stolz, the wife of Redding School Board board of trustees president Reinhard Stolz, was arrested today on suspicion of embezzlement and grand theft.
Redding police investigators searched the Stolzes’ home today and Wanell Stolz was booked into Shasta County Jail, said Deputy District Attorney Erin Dervin, who filed the case.
Wanell Stolz, 51, was the treasurer of the Sycamore Elementary School Parent Faculty Club and also worked in the library, Dervin said. Wanell Stolz is suspected of stealing $13,385 during her tenure from 2004 until September 2009, Dervin said Wednesday.
“We believe over a four- to five year period she systematically over-reimbursed herself and paid herself money out of an account she was not intended to,” Dervin said.
The investigation has been going on for nearly a year, Dervin said. One element to the case involves alleged over-reimbursement of several items purchased by Stolz, including books, cameras and video cameras.
Dervin said her office was originally notified about the issue in June of 2009, but because of the complicated nature of the case, it took a large block of time to investigate and gather evidence. Wanell Stolz was not in her position with the parent faculty club by the fall of 2009, so the pressure to immediately file a case was lifted, Dervin added.
A new treasurer for the faculty club at Sycamore Elementary School was among those who began to suspect wrongdoing, Dervin said.
“She had suspicion because there were some missing documents and some things were just not matching up,” Dervin said. “She brought it to the attention of the school.”
With a binder and a half of copied checks and nearly five years of bank records, there is plenty of material related to the case, Dervin added.
“There’s a lot of evidence in these paper cases,” Dervin said. “But the beauty, if you will, is that there’s a paper trail. It’s hard to argue with a check or a document.”
Jim Dyar is a news, arts and entertainment journalist for A News Cafe and the former arts and entertainment editor for the Record Searchlight’s D.A.T.E. section. Jim is also a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.