Sedro-Woolley, WA– In a complex case of theft, deceit and betrayal, Cassandra Olivia Salinas Renderos, an Evergreen Elementary Para Educator and Treasurer of the Evergreen Elementary Teacher Team Booster Club has been arrested and accused of stealing over $53,000.00 from the parents, teachers, students and community members who have supported the Evergreen Elementary Booster Club through events and fundraisers.
SkagitBreaking.com received nearly 600 pages of court documents related to the theft case through a public disclosure request.
According to lengthy court documents and police reports, Sedro-Woolley School District Executive Director of Human Resources, Darrel Heisler contacted the Sedro-Woolley Police Department on June 27th, 2018 to report a possible theft by SALINAS RENDEROS.
Fellow Booster Club members had repeatedly asked for access to the Booster Club Checking account information and were denied or blow off by SALINAS RENDEROS because she was “too sick” to deal with getting them the information. Their suspicions of the Treasurer heightened after they were contacted by another local school charity, who notified them that SALINAS RENDEROS was privately seeking donations for the Evergreen Elementary Booster Club, raising red flags that one charity would be attempting to borrow or get money from another charity. The president of the booster club and HEISLER began looking into the checking account history and uncovered years of betrayal.
During the course of the internal investigation, Heisler found multiple charges for purchases from stores and online merchants and told Detectives there would be no legitimate reason for the booster club checking account to be used to purchase items from any store or online merchant. Historically, the booster club account is largely used for paying reimbursements to teachers who buy approved items from stores out of their own pockets. The checking account is also used for charges related to reimbursement for school field trips and buses.
Money for the booster club is mainly generated from fundraisers done by parents, teachers and the elementary students themselves. The Booster Club Money is separate from the school budget and is controlled by the booster club itself. Court Documents show that each teacher is given approximately a $125.00 spending limit for reimbursement throughout the school year by the Booster Club. The teacher must submit proper receipts for their purchases or expenses of approved items for the classroom. Heisler provided detectives with a spreadsheet of suspicious charges to the Booster Club Checking account, including charges to multiple clothing retailers, restaurants, gas stations, online retailers and utility companies. He turned the internal investigation over to Detectives for follow-up and charges.
Court Documents show that SALINAS RENDEROS was first questioned about the unauthorized charges on the booster club account by school officials on June 19th, 2018. Documents state she lied and told the school officials that her personal bank account and the school bank account, both held at separate banks, had become accidentally “linked” because they were both on her phone at the same time. She told school officials that the charges had posted to the school account in error and she was working to correct the problem. According to court documents, when SALINAS RENDEROS was informed it wasn’t possible for two checking accounts from two separate banks to become “linked” in that way, SALINAS RENDEROS admitted to school officials that she had knowingly made the fraudulent charges on the Booster Club Checking account but she wanted to pay back the money.
On July 3rd, 2018, Sedro-Woolley Police Officers went to SALINAS RENDEROS home on a separate Welfare Fraud Case where she had an active warrant out for her arrest for failing to appear in court for the welfare fraud case. SALINAS RENDEROS exited the front door of her home and was placed into handcuffs before being transported to the Sedro-Woolley Police Department for an interview. SALINAS RENDEROS was read her constitutional Rights and signed a waiver, waiving her rights to answer questions. Courts documents show that when SALINAS RENDEROS was questioned about the inappropriate charges to the Booster Club checking account she said “I want to be 100% honest, but I don’t know if I should ask for a lawyer or not. I mean, I don’t know what I should do.” Detectives told SALINAS RENDEROS they were already aware of the facts of the case, including her assertion to school officials that she wanted to pay back the stolen funds. SALINAS RENDEROS then continued “This wasn’t something that I did, like, to hurt somebody…Like, You guys want me to tell you but then I’m the one that’s gonna get screwed at the end ’cause I made a really bad mistake. Basically it started when-this would have been-we had a five-year, um, um, process with immigration for my husband to get him documentation. And we had everything sent in, and it was just, you know, a waiting process..waiting, you know, just waiting and waiting and waiting. And finally, he-we went through all the steps and he had everything, um, sent off and we were just waiting to see if he would get his um, permanent residency, um approved. So finally we got a letter in the mail that said he was approved for his-he was approved for his, um, residency but that we had to go to El Salvador, where he’s from…to ask for a pardon. He had to go to the Salvadorian Consulate over there and request a pardon and then come back as a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident, and then he could apply for his citizenship within three years. So we got the letter in the mail, and it says Congratulations! You’ve been..”you know” now approved, but you have to be in El Salvador on this date, which was literally a month away.” SALINAS RENDEROS then told detectives that she first started using Booster Club funds for her personal expenses when she got passports for the El Salvador trip. She told detectives the passports were more expensive than she had expected and she used the Booster Club card with the intent to pay it back. SALINAS RENDEROS then told detectives she deposited the money the next week in the booster club account, but Detectives note that Bank records show there was no such deposit made by SALINAS RENDEROS.
SALINAS RENDEROS then told Detectives that when she traveled to El Salvador, she added the Booster Club bank card onto her PayPal.com account and on her phone, just in cases there was an emergency and she needed to send money somewhere. She then told detectives she was gone in El Salvador for a month and then came back. When she returned, she said her husband wasn’t working and they didn’t have food or money and were two months behind on rent and were being evicted. She told detectives ” I just made mistakes of-of just basically supporting my household until we had money, and I was gonna pay it back, but what I didn’t do is I didn’t keep track’ cause we-I didn’t get bank statements. It was just all-I don’t know who she set it up before…the lady, the treasurer that had it up before…” SALINAS RENDEROS told Detectives that this trip occurred around January of 2016, though based on Detectives investigations of her purchase history in the Booster Club checking account and her social media postings, it appears she bought the Passports at Seattle Passport on December 20th, 2016 and went on the trip in January and February of 2017. The initial unauthorized charges occurred in February of 2016, nearly a year before her trip to El Salvador, that she stated was the “reason” for the theft of funds from the Booster Club Checking account. Detectives noted several photographs posted by SALINAS RENDEROS on her INSTAGRAM account of her and her family in EL Salvador, starting on January 19th, 2017. The photos include children eating pizza, ice cream vendors, scenic viewpoints, tourist attarctions, a shopping mall, horseback riding, swimming pools, meals, a birthday party and screen shots of weather in the area. A photo dated February 3rd, 2017 is titled “We came to visit the father n law RIP”. Two transactions posted on the Booster Club Checking account via a money transfer service XOOM show a money transfer on January 12th, 2017 for $1042.99 and another one on January 25th, 2017 for $834.99. Search Warrants obtained by Detectives show that the money transfers were initiated by SALINAS RENDEROS and her husband MAURICIO RENDEROS of Sedro-Woolley to a recipient in San Martin San Salvador.
On March 20th, 2017, Cassandra Renderos created a Go Fund Me account for Cassandra Salinas Renderos. The GoFundMe was for Funeral Costs related to the death of Julio Castillo. The fundraiser was shared 206 times on Facebook. RENDEROS wrote “Our beloved, grandpa, husband, mentor, son, father and friend to many, passed away due to complications with his heart and kidney failure. My grandparents have been on a social security income and this came unexpectedly. Any dollar counts and my grandmother would be very grateful for any help that she may receive to cover this cost. May God Bless each and every one of you. We will miss you so much!!!” The page raised $900.00 of their $7,000 goal. Evergreen Elementary School Office Staff made a $120.00 donation to the Go Fund Me.
SALINAS RENDEROS admitted to detectives that she did not have another bank account at the time she was using the Booster Club Checking account, so there was no other account that it could have been confused with, even though she told the school administrators otherwise.
SALINAS RENDEROS also told detectives she had made a $1000 and a $500 deposit to pay off her charges but there are not matching deposit transactions on the booster club checking account. She admitted that she never stopped using the account for personal expenses and that all of the items and services she purchased were for her own personal benefit.
When Detectives questioned her about a charge to a local pet hospital, SALINAS RENDEROS stated the charge was for an “emergency”, however detectives obtained records from the local vet hospital through a search warrant that show the charge was for a routine pet examination and vaccinations, not an emergency as SALINAS RENDEROS had told Detectives.
SALINAS RENDEROS admitted to detectives that she used the Booster Club Checking account Bank card at locations where a physical card is required, contradicting her prior claim that the Booster Club account had become linked to her personal account on accident.
On July 11th, 2018, the Sedro Woolley Youth Football league had a meeting and removed SALINAS RENDEROS from their board based on their knowledge of the ongoing investigation into SALINAS RENDEROS allegedly stealing money from the Evergreen Elementary Booster Club. Court documents show that SALINAS RENDEROS insisted that she remain on the Youth Football board and told other board members that she had not been arrested, rather Sedro-Woolley Police had only questioned her about an open investigation against the Sedro-Wooley School District. Court Documents show she told members of the Youth Football league that someone was spreading rumors about her and that she had not done anything wrong. The board removed her, so she would not have access to the Youth Football League funds.
On August 8th, 2018 a search warrant for her residence was obtained by Detectives to recover items purchased by SALINAS RENDEROS with the stolen booster club money. Detectives served the search warrant on August 10th, 2018. Court documents show that Detectives seized several items purchased with the stolen money. These items included an Xbox One found in a downstairs bedroom, Pink Socks found in a hall closet, a Shower Curtain and hooks found in an upstairs bathroom, a Unicorn Flat Iron and Curling Iron found in the upstairs bathroom, various whitening toothpaste kits, make up and proactive skin care products found throughout the house, a baseball uniform found on a couch, baseball photo magnets found on the fridge, Samsung Virtual Reality Headset found on a downstairs window, men’s shoes found under the bed, and multiple other items.
During the course of the investigation, Detectives confirmed the stolen money was used by SALINAS RENDEROS to purchase multiple items at multiple locations, in multiple cities and at multiple retailers. Detectives presented the businesses with Search Warrants to gather information on the stolen money and get a list of everything SALINAS RENDEROS had purchased with the stolen money.
Court Documents show a breakdown of the unauthorized purchase. The purchases include multiple transaction per retailer but we have listed them below by retailer and dollar amount. The purchases include 14 purchases for Proactive Facial Cleaning products totaling $403.29, Fifty Five purchases from Zulilly totaling $999.15, Whitening Toothpaste from NuSkin, over 55 purchases from Amazon.com totally $1,547.30, a Men’s JH Design Charcoal Seattle Seahawks Poly Twill Jacket from TeamFanShop.com for $81.35, The Birthday Collection from Kylie Jenner Cosmetics for $58.00, an Ipsy cosmetics monthly subscription totaling $115.60, five purchases from Bath and Body Works totaling $158.64, 3 purchases from ColourPop Cosmetics for $48.39.
Among other unauthorized purchases on the Booster Club account were $628.30 worth of gym membership charges for Planet Fitness, $54.88 worth of charges to AMC Theaters, $50.00 to a dentist, over $350.00 worth of purchases from Apple iTunes, $214.84 in purchases for Amazon Prime Memberships, $61.60 at Applebee’s, $85.02 in purchases at Arco AMPM, $1,256.12 in Cell Phone Bill payments to AT&T, $52.17 in purchases at Bath and Body Works, $83.90 at the Marysville Big Lots Store, $45.56 at Big Scoop in Mount Vernon, $1,196.16 to Bill Matrix bill payments, $21.13 at Bite Teriyaki, $380.00 to Blue Sombrero, $74.56 to Burger King, $223.76 to Burlington Coat Factory, $21.02 to Carl’s Jr., $135.18 to Carters, $144.18 to Cascade Pizza, $760.95 to Cascade Natural Gas, $922.00 to Cash and Carry, $131.25 to Chevron, $66.00 to Chuck E. Cheese, $983.55 to the City of Sedro-Woolley, $4,273.23 to Comcast Cable, $150.00 to Country Clinic, $1,732.68 to Skagit PUD, $116.89 to Dairy Queen, $32.98 to Designer Studios, $386.72 to Dicks Sporting Goods, $315.98 to Dominos Pizza, $78.00 to Follow Your Heart, $72.16 to Four Seasons Buffet, $660.17 for Fred Meyer Fuel, over $2800.00 to Fred Meyer, $14.99 to FuboTv, $58.95 to Gap Outlet, $266.81 to Grocery Outlet, $221.62 to H&M at Bellis Fair Mall, $20.58 to Hal’s Drive In, $50.95 to Hautlk Rack, $103.21 to Hobby Lobby, $22.43 to ihop, $102.50 to Instinct, $223.30 to Kohls, $74.95 to Lange Hair, $387.00 to Lavish Nails and Spa, $250.00 to Liberty Mutual, $246.76 to Little Caesars, $146.49 to Lorenzo’s, $149.22 to Lula roe Clothing, $34.72 to Macy’s, $76.96 to Maurice’s, $95.73 to McDonald’s, $608.00 to Mercari, $104.69 to Michael’s, $195.12 to Microsoft Groove for a Music Subscription, $80.29 to Mod Pizza, $90.50 to North Cascade Vet Hospital, $140.92 to Netflix.com, $151.24 to Nike Outlet Stores, $51.68 to Nintendo Digital, $164.27 to Office Depot, $1,392.62 to Old Navy, $34.25 to Olive Garden, $55.27 to Oliver and Hammer Clothing, Paypal Purchases totaling $1,024.64 for multiple online purchases, $135.63 to Sephora, $45.56 to Popeyes Chicken, $72.09 to Prissy Pooch Pet Spa, $126.50 to Puget Sound Energy, $2000.00 to Giles Property Management, $60.00 to Ramos Chiropractic, $105.28 to Redbox Movie Rentals, $776.35 to Rite Aid Stores, $443.74 to Ross Stores, $299.64 to Safeway Stores, $146.02 to Sakura Japanese Steakhouse, Seattle Passports for $525.00, $13.75 for Seattle Meter Parking, $753.03 at Food Pavilion Stores, $50.61 at Shari’s Restaurant, $87.10 at Shell Gas Stations, $286.51 at Silver Cloud Hotel in Seattle, $18.05 at Skagit Big Mini Market, $82.82 at Skagit Farmers Supply, $91.99 at Sugarbear Hair, $76.07 at Shebrews Coffee, $55.95 at Funko, $125.79 at Subway, $1.086.35 at TJ Maxx, $38.24 at Taco Bell, $2,951.10 at Target Stores, $34.50 at Teriyaki Wok, $14.00 at the Donut House, $115.75 at the Lego Store, $1,90741 at T-Mobile, $220.00 for USCIS, $113.80 at Value Village, $55.58 at Victoria Secret, $220.75 at Washington Department of Licensing, $1,190.22 at Walgreen Stores, $2,129.70 at Wal-Mart Stores, $143.85 at the Washington State Fair, $34.11 at Wendy’s, $252.00 at Boxycharm.com, $87.25 for Disney on Ice at Xfinity Arena, $1,877.98 at Xoom Corporation money transfer. Court documents also show Cassandra Salinas Renderos took $400.00 out of the Booster account in Cash and an additional $2,950 in unauthorized reimbursements.
The total amount she is accused of stealing from the Evergreen Elementary Family-Teacher Team (Booster Club) is $53,243.17.
SALINAS-RENDEROS has a separate Welfare Fraud Case against her that is making its way through the court system. According to Court Documents she is accused of Theft 1st by means of Welfare Fraud, Perjury 2nd, and False Verification of Welfare.
On January 3rd, 2014, CASSANRA SALINAS-RENDEROS submitted an application for Benefits requesting cash assistance from the State of Washington. She reported on this application that the household income for the month was zero adding the following comments “My unemployment ran ended on 12/28 and I am 8-months pregnant and I have a drs note that I am unable to work right now due to my back injury and pregnancy. My husband is unable to work as we are in the process of getting him documented and we have a lawyer and he should be legalized within this year. My family is going to loan us money this month for rent, and I have an energy assistance apt on Jan 24 and they will help me with my bill”
DSHS Sent SALINAS-RENDEROS a letter on January 6th, 2014 advising her that based on the information she provided in her application that her basic food assistance was increasing from $489.00 per month to $750.00 per month.
On January 7th, 2014 DSHS sent SALINAS-RENDEROS a letter informing her that she was approved for cash assistance from January 7th, 2014 through December 31st, 2014 based on the information she provided on her Application for Benefits. The first issuance was $522.00 per month, and subsequent issuances were for $648.00 per month. The letter informed her that should her total gross monthly income go over $1,472.00 per month she was obligated to report the changes by the 10th of the next month after the change.
On February 26th, 2014 SALINAS-RENDEROS contacted DSHS to report the birth of her daughter. The child was added to her food benefits beginning on March 1st, 2014. DSDS notified her via a letter that due to her child being born she was going to receive an additional $150.00 per month in case assistance raising it to $798.00 per month. Her food assistance amount was raised from $750.00 per month to $900.00 per month. This was based on SALINAS-RENDEROS reporting there was still ZERO income in the household.
On April 2nd, 2014, DSHS completed a Mid Certification phone interview with SALINAS-RENDEROS. She did not report any changes to her situation and continued to receive benefits.
On November 17th, 2014, SALINAS-RENDEROS submitted an Eligibility Review applying for cash and food assistance with DSHS. Court Documents show she reported her income to be $798, which is the cash benefit she was receiving from DSHS. In the comment section of the application SALINAS-RENDEROS typed the following, “Husband is still in the proves of becoming legal. According to our lawyer it should be within the year, then he can start to look for work. My grandparents and mother have been helping out with rent $ since I have had my daughter and there are letters in the system already. Nothin in my household has changed.”
On February 4th, 2015, a Financial Services Specialist reviewed SALINAS-RENDEROS case for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The specialist noticed earning for her spouse, MAURICIO RENDEROS from 4th quarter 2013 from a painting company. The Financial Specialist contacted the business and confirmed that Mauricio RENDEROS was employed with the company. The company provided documents confirming his identity and income. SALINAS-RENDEROS cash benefits were ended for her family being over the income limit. SALINAS-RENDEROS was also over the family income limit when she first applied for benefits on January 4th, 2014. SALINAS-RENDEROS was never eligible for cash assistance. Employment Security data shows that MAURICIO RENDEROS had a social security number and began employment in the State of Washington back in 2003. The painting company he worked for reported he earned between $1500 and $6000.00 per month during the period of overpayment. Further investigation by DSHS revealed that MAURICIO’s social security number had been issued to a child in 2008 and was also in use by 5 other people in California.
On January 31st, 2017, an appointment letter was sent to SALINAS-RENDEROS. She was scheduled for an interview with DSHS but failed to show up for the interview. On February 14th, 2017, SALINAS-RENDEROS advised that she was out of the country and had came home to find the letter and a new interview was scheduled for February 16th, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
On February 16th, 2017, SALINAS-RENDEROUS showed up for her appointment 20-minutes late. She was taken to an interview room and advised she was free to leave at any time and that she didn’t have to answer any questions. She was read her Constitution Rights by DSHS Investigators and agreed to speak with them. When questioned about the false information provided to DSHS, SALINAS-RENDEROS stated that she had reported her husbands income to DSHS. Investigators then showed her the Application for Benefits she submitted on January 3rd, 2014 as well as the Eligibility Review Documents she submitted on November 14th, 2014. She admitted that she was the person who provided all the information on the forms. She then told investigators that she did not report MAURICIO’s income as his work fluctuated and she didn’t know how much he would be working each month. Based on the investigation, SALINAS-RENDEROS was charged with Theft 1st by means of Welfare Fraud, Perjury 2nd, and False Verification of Welfare. The case has yet to be adjudicated.
CASSANDRA SALINAS-RENDEROS was booked into the Skagit County Community Justice Center for Investigation of ID Theft 1st Degree and Theft 1st Degree for the Theft of money from the Evergreen Elementary Booster Club. She has since been released.