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Alice woman accused of gambling away Agua Dulce HS Booster Club funds

Posted at 4:04 PM, Aug 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-29 23:16:13-04

AGUA DULCE, TX — An Alice woman has been arrested after law enforcement officials said she misused funds from the Agua Dulce Athletic Booster Club.

44-year-old Kara Launn Strait was booked into the Jim Wells County jail Monday morning after the arrest. Strait was the former president of the booster club.

Agua Dulce City Marshal Joe Martinez told KRIS 6 News that Strait had misused over $3,000 using credit cards from the booster club.

This money had been set aside as scholarship money for four students. However, the students were unable to receive the scholarships because of Strait.

“The point in case is that we have a lot of angry parents because there’s four students that are in college right now, that graduated, that were going to receive $500 scholarships," Martinez said. "And, they don’t have their money, and they’re in school and some of the parents are upset. You can’t blame them now-a-days with the economy the way it is, every bit helps.”

Martinez said that Strait used “a lot of that money in the illegal maquinitas” (game rooms) in the small town before they were shut down.

The booster club and the Agua Dulce Independent School District (ADISD) operate separately. However, ADISD Superintendent Richard Wright said the district will help the booster club with some things such as a yearly audit. That’s how they became aware of the missing money back in May.

Wright spoke to the families who he said are understandably upset.

“There’s disappointment, there’s no question about that. But on the flip side, they’re also understanding. I don’t think there was malicious intent or anything of that nature. But, when students loose money for their scholarships, obviously its a sad day for everyone involved," Wright said.

Wright said law enforcement were made aware after they discovered the money was missing.

"She was given ample opportunity to pay this money back, " said Martinez. "If I'm not mistaken she had a little over two months with the school district and then she had the time we investigated it for her to pay it back and she didn't."

Wright said this was an isolated incident he doesn’t believe will happen again.

“We’ve had a complete turnover in our booster club and so I don’t believe that will be the situation from here on out. I think that was an unfortunate incident, one time action,” he said.

Martinez said the card allegedly used by Strait was in the name of another woman with the booster club. The affidavit lists that person as Maria Delcarmen Garza. Martinez said the account the money was taken from was overdrawn and sent to collections. Garza will have to work with her bank and the collections company to resolve the impact to her account and credit score.

Strait was charged with credit card/debit card abuse which is a state jail felony. She was released after an hour and a half in custody on a $2,500 bond.