Bonnie Bordenkircher, a former fund-raiser for the combined parents committee of the three Boy Scout troops in Orchard Park, pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling nearly $25,000 she helped to raise by selling who's-who books for the Scouts.
She agreed to make full restitution by Thursday.
Mrs. Bordenkircher, 44, of Stow, pleaded guilty to a felony count of third-degree grand larceny and a misdemeanor count of third-degree forgery. Erie County Judge Timothy J. Drury said he will sentence her to probation on Dec. 17.
He allowed her to remain free on her own recognizance.
Mrs. Bordenkircher had moved from Orchard Park, where two of her sons were in Scouting, to Stow in Chautauqua County last year.
Karen Herzog, Mrs. Bordenkircher's attorney, assured Drury the money will be repaid. The judge said he will spare her a possible seven-year state prison term only if she makes good on the pledge. Court sources said Ms. Herzog already has the funds in an attorney escrow account.
Both Ms. Herzog and Mrs. Bordenkircher declined to comment as they left court. Ms. Herzog worked out a deal with prosecutors to allow Mrs. Bordenkircher to plead guilty before an indictment or arrest warrant was issued.
Simon Manka, attorney for the Orchard Park troops' parents committee, and prosecutor Russell T. Ippolito Jr. said a criminal investigation began in July after officials at Key Bank notified a parents' committee of problems with checks Mrs. Bordenkircher was forging on committee accounts at the bank.
She had set up a check-kiting scheme and was shifting funds between accounts by forging the name of another official of the parents committee, officials said.
When Orchard Park police began investigating the scheme last summer, Mrs. Bordenkircher told them she needed the money to cover bills resulting from her husband's medical problems.
Officials said the Scout troops will get back almost $15,000 of the repaid funds.
Key Bank will receive slightly more than $9,000 to cover the bounced personal checks Mrs. Bordenkircher wrote to the troops last summer, trying to cover the thefts.
Key Bank had absorbed that loss rather than press the Orchard Park troops for the money, Manka said.
Manka said once the Scout troops get their portion of the reimbursement, they will be able to pay about $11,000 to Printing Prep of East Tupper Street and Petit Printing of Rano Street, two companies that helped the troops make the who's-who directories.
Officials of both companies, which should have been paid last summer, agreed to wait for their money after learning of the troops' money problems, Manka said.