Band booster embezzles $40,000 from school

Band booster treasurer charged with theft. / Jessica Fairley

A Thomasville man has turned himself into authorities after embezzling $40,000 from a local high school.

Lt. Wade Glover, with the Thomasville Police Department, said James Ouzts, 43, surrendered to police and admitted to the crime Thursday.

Authorities say the man was hired as treasurer of the Thomasville High School band booster club back in 2011.

Shortly afterwards he was hired, funds started missing from the account.

When board members discovered the discrepancies, they contacted police.

Ouzts turned himself in after being confronted with the evidence.

Lt. Glover said the man stole the money out of the school's account to write checks for personal use.

The suspect is cooperating with police and has returned a small portion of the funds.

James Ouzts had his first court appearance Thursday and was released from jail Friday on a $7,600 bond.

He is charged with a felony count of theft by taking and could face up to 10 years in prison for the crime.