Saturday, September 09, 2023

Preliminary hearing Monday for woman charged with embezzling from JHS Project Graduation


A 1:30 p.m. Monday preliminary hearing is scheduled in Newton County Circuit Court for Melanie Dawn Patterson, 43, Joplin, who is charged with felony stealing in connection with the embezzlement of $1,400 from Joplin High School Project Graduation.

At the time the alleged crimes occurred Patterson was serving as Project Graduation president.

According to the probable cause statement, Patterson, 42, allegedly stole the money from the Project Graduation bank account through four withdrawals from the Southwest Missouri Bank ATM at 1102 E. 32nd Street.
The withdrawals were made on September 15, September 30, October 12 and October 13, 2022

From the probable cause statement:

Melanie D. Patterson was the president of Joplin High School Project Graduation Inc. Class of 2023 and was issued a Debit Card (last #9478) through Southwest Missouri Bank.

The treasurer for Joplin Project Graduation noticed suspicious activity on the account and upon going through bank records noticed five withdrawals that had not been approved by the organization. The withdrawals had been made with card #9478 at the ATM located at 1102 E 32nd St on the following dates for the following amounts:

1. 09-15-2022 for $150 at 1244 hours

2. 09-30-2022 for $150 at 1731 hours

3. 10-12-2022 for $500 at 1356 hours


4. 10-13-2022 for $300 at 1738 hours

5. 10-20-2022 for $300 at 1214 hours

Video obtained from the ATM confirmed that Melanie D. Patterson withdrew money on each occasion as she exited her vehicle registered to her, and she was the only one present during each transaction.

Patterson was contacted via phone and stated that the debit card in question was stolen a while back and she had nothing to do with the thefts and refused to speak with officers further on the matter. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Melanie Dawn Patterson - is such an Unethical and Immoral Person - To Steal from a Non-Profit Organization - especially from the - Joplin High School Project Graduation -

She should be not only Held Liable for Re-Paying the Full Amount of the Money - but she should spend Time in Jail for Stealing and for Lying to the Police that the Credit Card was Stolen - when they already had her on Video from the ATM's - Withdrawing the Money - WHAT A CON ARTIST...

Please to the Judge, the Prosecuting Attorney's Office and any Jurors if they go to Trial - - DO NOT ALLOW THIS WOMAN TO WALK AWAY FROM THIS SITUATION - - - Let her Receive Justice for the Crime She Did!!! Most Non-Profits depend on the Honesty and Integrity of the People they Elect or Help Run these Organizations - - Melanie Dawn Patterson has taken away the Trust that People have in Non-Profits - because of her Actions - She Needs to Pay the Price for the taking Advantage of the Position she was Elected to Uphold and the Trust she has taken away from all the People that Volunteer and Give to Non-Profits.

Plus - I Hope if you are in or wanting to Start a Non-Profit - that you make sure you put into affect - Checks and Balances and Audits - -

1. Never have just one Person on the Bank Accounts / Credit Cards /
2. Make sure that every month a Report is given with the Beginning and Ending Balances of your Bank Account and Detail Purchases and Other Expenses listed.
3. All purchases require valid receipts.
4. If you can afford to have a Third Party Auditor or Company to Produce / Audit these Monthly / Quarterly / Annual Reports - even better.
5. Never / Ever - have Just Family Members hold these Financial Positions -
6. If you can have them Bonded / Insured - against Theft, Misuse of Funds, Etc., - even better.