UPDATE: Mount Ogden teacher arrested, charged with defrauding children’s charity – Standard-Examiner

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

Mount Ogden Junior High School in Ogden, pictured Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022.

OGDEN — A Mount Ogden Junior High School teacher has been charged with allegedly diverting thousands of dollars from a charity for disadvantaged children and spending the money on personal items.

Elizabeth Galbraith, 43, of North Ogden, was the sole handler of money for the Change for Children charity, which accepted large financial donations intended to help families in need during the Christmas season, according to an Ogden Police Department probable cause statement.

“In contacting these families from the list of recipients of these donations, we learned many of the families received half of what they were listed as receiving or nothing at all,” the police statement said.

Investigators looking into suspicious use of the school’s tax-exempt Sam’s Club card reviewed video footage at the store and saw Galbraith allegedly making personal purchases with the card, the affidavit said. Large amounts of purchases were made with gift cards, it said.

Police and Ogden School District officials interviewed Galbraith, who allegedly said “she accidentally threw away $8,000 to $13,000 in gift cards while on Ambien,” a sleep aid, according to the document. The investigation found that $21,000 that allegedly had been in Galbraith’s possession could not be accounted for.

Police arrested Galbraith on Monday and she was booked and released from the Weber County Jail on second-degree felony charges of communications fraud and theft. Court records show she was freed with a promise to appear in court on the charges.

Galbraith was put on leave during the investigation and she later resigned from the district, Jer Bates, the school district’s spokesperson, said Thursday. According to Utah State Board of Education records, Galbraith has held a Utah teaching license since July 2002.

The district said in a prepared statement that officials are cooperating with the police investigation and that the district has activated its crisis response team to provide support to students or employees who may be experiencing distress.

“We will proceed with steps to ensure that all financial discrepancies related to this situation are resolved and that all donation recipients receive the full amount intended by donors,” the statement said.

Efforts to contact Richard Gallegos, Galbraith’s attorney of record, were not immediately successful.


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