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Momstrocity pays! PS 29’s PTA embezzler avoids jail with first restitution check

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The Cobble Hill PTA treasurer who stole more than $82,000 from her fellow school parents — then nearly landed in jail when she claimed she couldn’t pay back the money — escaped the big house on Tuesday after handing over $50,000 and agreeing to a payment schedule for the rest.

A wan and teary-eyed Providence Hogan capped an eight-month drama that riveted Brownstone Brooklyn by handing over the $50,000 check to PS 29 PTA co-president Maura Sheehy, fulfilling the first part of a restitution agreement that will now require her to make quarterly payments of $4,000 each for the next two years.

Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Mondo warned the former PTA mom and Atlantic Avenue day spa owner that those checks had better come in on time.

“If you fail to make one payment, I will order a warrant for your arrest, and when you are brought in, you will be incarcerat­ed,” Mondo said, threatening a six-year sentence if Hogan reneged on the deal. “I an not going to accept any excuses for your failure to make a payment.”

Hogan agreed, then choked back tears as she apologized to all the school parents who “put their trust in me.”

“For three years, my responsibility and my duty was to make sure that the money raised by PS 29 went to the children,” she told a half dozen school parents in the gallery. “I failed to do that. What I did was obviously criminal and my actions were morally reprehensible and spiritually bereft.

“I know that simply asking for forgiveness does not mean that I will get your forgiveness,” added Hogan, whose descent into the criminal justice system began in March with her arrest for embezzlement. “Once [restitution is made], it will be up to you to decide whether you forgive me or not.”

A handful of PTA parents cried openly when Hogan made her mea culpa, but none were willing to forgive her right away.

“I can’t react to that right now,” former PS 29 parent Pat Gilas said. “We are very much looking forward to moving on and turning this experience into something positive.”

PTA co-president Stephanie Manske concurred.

“We’re grateful that restitution was involved in the plea deal,” she said. “With city budget cuts, it’s necessary that this money is replaced.”

As treasurer between 2008 and 2010, Hogan had unfettered access to the Henry Street school’s PTA checkbook, and cut checks to herself for fertility treatments and rent on her home and her Providence Day Spa.

At first, District Attorney Charles Hynes allowed Hogan to avoid prison with a sweetheart deal: no jail if she paid back everything she stole.

But Hogan never came up with the first payment of $40,000. Her lawyer Stephen Flamhaft tried to work out a deal for Hogan to pay $30,000 up front and the rest over four years, but Hynes balked and threatened to take Hogan to trial if she didn’t return the money.

Hogan claimed she was destitute — and said she would rather go to jail than return money that she said she did not have.

“If the school thinks they can get the money [stolen], they’re wrong,” Hogan told reporters after an October court appearance. “I might as well go to jail for as long as possible. That would be nothing to what I’m enduring now. [To me] this ordeal has been jail.”

But weeks later, Flamhaft met with Mondo and asked for some leniency.

The lawyer also explained how Hogan came up with the $50,000 for Tuesday’s payment when she had long insisted that she didn’t even have $40,000.

Flamhaft said an acquaintance of Hogan’s bought a sizable portion of her spa business, though he wouldn’t name the investor. She also received donations from neighbors and congregants from Congregation B’nai Avraham in Brooklyn Heights after the New York Times wrote a sympathetic portrait of the thieving mom.

Besides giving Hogan probation, Mondo lifted an order of protection that barred Hogan from interacting with PS 29 PTA members. Hogan’s daughter is still enrolled in the school.

“She was allowed to go to the school because her child was there, but she couldn’t really talk to anyone or attend meetings,” Flamhaft said. “Now she could feel free to do so.”

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Reader Feedback

judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
Wow! Commit crime. Pay a fine, no matter how high and you avoid jail. Wow, our justice system!
Nov. 2, 2011, 11:59 am
prison from tim says:
did the judge get 50K to keep her out of jail
Nov. 2, 2011, 12:06 pm
Julie from Benson Hurst says:
With no oversight from the other responsible board members I am surprised she didn't take more. I wonder how proud they are of themselves. How are THEY being held accountable? Not at all. THAT is shameful, and doesn't really fix any problems.

I am on a PTO board and we would NEVER handle this the way they did. More heads than 1 would roll.

I hope these people have learned their lesson.
Nov. 2, 2011, 12:23 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Look, these are wealthy people. You must have some cultural sensitivity to them to understand their plight. They lie and steal from children because that is ingrained in their culture of unbridled greed and selfishness. We need to understand them and not judge them.
Nov. 2, 2011, 12:53 pm
In The Slope from PArk Slope says:
-> Julie, I 100% agree!!! The Board didn't perform it's fiduciary responsibility... OVERSIGHT, OVERSIGHT, OVERSIGHT!!!! there should always be an independent audit, ALWAYS!!!!
Nov. 2, 2011, 3:24 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
Screw this lady with the B.S. she put thru everyone she came in contact with, the school, her kid. I don't feel sorry for her at all. Mother of the year.
Nov. 2, 2011, 4:50 pm
Sam says:
K. I prefer to judge them because I do not understand greed and theft. Hope she leads a miserable rest of her life.
Nov. 2, 2011, 7:58 pm
a sucker born every minute from bay ridge says:
What a beautiful story. Where can I donate to help Hogan maintain the lifestyle she has.
Nov. 3, 2011, 8:37 am
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
LOl
Nov. 4, 2011, 9:41 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
Doesn't this blog have a moderator to delete or block content like what I read above. Wierd sex comments aren't really what most readers want to see, or do they?
And it is not pertinent to the case. And I cuss plenty.

Also, I am reading the terms of service below and it says that the poster agrees "not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar........sexually-oriented material"

Also it's time to retire the term "momscrocity". It's in every headline about Hogan.
Nov. 5, 2011, 2:22 pm
Pam from OWS says:
I never felt sorry for Hogan at all until I read the disgusting comments from Cynthia from Clinton Hill and K from Arkady (where is that?)
Nov. 5, 2011, 2:50 pm
Lane Lacey from UES says:
I agree with Pam - screw this hot booch. Let her know what anal burn feels like.
Nov. 5, 2011, 4:05 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
@Pam. i typed the first comment "screw this lady". that other comment wasent me, i see the other Cynthia from Clinton Hill commenting sometimes. its no big deal. kinda funny though, hahahaha
Nov. 6, 2011, 2:09 am
Paul from Park Slope says:
The Editor was contacted by persons who saw really crazy, vicious, bizarre obscene stuff, and I see that most of it was deleted. I am not a prude by any means, love to scream and curse, and definitely not in favor of censorship, but the stuff turned my stomach. "Screw this lady" is very tame! Oh, I see Gersh missed a little something-something two posts up. And, please educate me, is a "booch" the same as a "——".
Nov. 9, 2011, 3:41 pm
Paul from Park Slope says:
Wow, I see that the computer deleted my last word automatically! I guess "booch" is a way around that!
Nov. 9, 2011, 3:42 pm
Julie Is Clueless from Cobble Hill says:
Read the indictment, which includes several counts of falsifying business documents, before lobbing uninformed insults at other hardworking volunteers/Board members. The PS 29 PTA called Tweed and the cops as soon as financial wrongdoing was suspected. There are bad apples everywhere. Let's hope one like this never shows up in your barrel.
Nov. 9, 2011, 4 pm
jay from bed-stuy says:
wouldnt happen like this in Bed-Stuy. Restitution or not. Interesting to read her quotes as well. Didnt see these in the mainstream press. She deserved jail
Nov. 10, 2011, 9:48 am

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