A longtime Erie County teacher is facing grand theft and forgery charges for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 from trusts belonging to two children. Their father, who died of brain cancer in 2007, left the teacher's husband in charge of the account until the boys turned 18.
Stacie Bement, 45, of Wakeman, was arrested on May 4 at Edison High School in Milan. The Norwalk Police Department believes she forged her husband's signature in order to transfer money to her personal bank account several times between 2008 and 2012. Detective Sgt. Seth Fry says the money was spent on everyday expenses.
“I think there was some financial trouble and the boys fund was used as a reserve to pay bills,” said Fry. “I don’t think it was used for anything glamorous or exciting.”
The discovery wasn’t made until early 2017 when Magnus Mortensen turned 18. He and his brother, Javyn, only found out about the account several years before.
“Mike didn’t want anybody to really know. He didn’t want to be a hero. He just wanted to do what dads do,” said his ex-wife Billie Mortensen.
In 2015, the three met with Bement and her husband. In that meeting, the Mortensen’s say the pair told them it was their dad’s wish to have the boys spend the money on college, a wedding or a home. They also gave them statements and information about the account. Years later, the documents proved to be fake.
“Somebody lied to me for years and told me I had something that I never had,” said Magnus Mortensen. “I don’t want them to ruin what he worked for and tried hard for him to do.”
Bement’s husband, a lifelong friend of their father, is not facing any charges at this time.
“We can speculate that he doesn’t have any knowledge of the family finances and that she controlled everything,” said Fry.
Edison Local School District Superintendent Thomas Roth said Bement has been with the district for more than 20 years. She was currently teaching special education at the high school. Her salary during the 2017-2018 school year was $62,407. Roth says the district is "shocked to say the least" and “nothing is under investigation as far as school activities are involved.”
News 5 tried to reach out to Bement’s attorney and her husband for comment. Neither returned our phone calls or emails. Her next court date is in early June.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the boys by close family friends.