SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A woman who used to live in Springfield pleaded guilty on Monday morning for stealing funds from the Wanda Gray Elementary School PTA by buying personal items for herself. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a second stealing charge against Lyndsay Joy-Peck for stealing funds from a Girl Scout troop, also by buying personal items.
The plea agreement likely will keep Joy-Peck out of prison. If the judge accepts the agreement, she could get probation or a suspended imposition of sentence. She also would be required to make restitution of about $2,500 to the PTA. A judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 26.
Joy-Peck was charged in May 2012 with stealing at least $500 from both the PTA and the Girl Scout troop. In March, she agreed to a trial without a jury on June 12, but canceled the trial on June 10, and scheduled the hearing for the guilty plea. She could have faced up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 on each count if she'd been convicted at trial.
Joy-Peck was a leader of the PTA and troop from mid-2010 to early 2012. When questions arose about the accounts of both groups in 2011, they both did audits. The probable cause statement against her said the Girl Scouts’ audit discovered she bought $2,500 worth of personal goods at several stores. The audit of the PTA accounts discovered she spent about $1,900 on personal items. Detectives said in the probable cause statement that she admitted things spiraled out of control once the thefts started.
Her defense attorney told a News-Leader reporter that Joy-Peck no longer lives in the Springfield area.