High School Band Theft Charges

SALISBURY – The treasurer of Wicomico High School Band Boosters faces charges of embezzlement and theft following a month-long criminal investigation.

On July 13, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division was notified by the administration of Wicomico High School of a subject stealing funds from the Band Boosters account. According to the sheriff’s office, a criminal investigation revealed the treasurer, Brook Amber Cook, 31, of Salisbury, had allegedly stolen $15,085.04.

“It was determined that Cook stole the funds from December 2021 to June 2022,” a news release reads. “Cook utilized the funds to purchase personal items and pay a variety of personal bills.”

Last Monday, an application for charges was submitted to the District Court Commissioner, who issued a criminal summons for Cook, according to the sheriff’s office. And on Aug. 16, Cook was served with a criminal summons. She now faces charges of theft scheme $1,500 to under $25,000, embezzlement/misappropriation of funds and nine counts of theft $100 to under $1,500.

“We are aware that the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office has charged last year’s treasurer of the Wicomico High Band Boosters, who is not an employee of the school system, with theft scheme, nine counts of theft, and embezzlement/misappropriation of funds in connection with the use of $15,085.04 in Band Boosters funds,” a statement from Wicomico County Public Schools reads. “Obviously, if these charges are confirmed through the judicial process, it would be extremely upsetting and disappointing. Senior and executive leadership will continue to support the WiHi band program and administration throughout this situation and beyond.”

The statement continued, “We appreciate the investigative efforts of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as the alertness and diligence of school system staff whose concerns about expenditures from the Band Boosters account led to the investigation,” the statement reads. “The Band Boosters and other similar groups serve and support a school’s students, but these groups are independent and separate from the school with which they are affiliated. They are not under the authority of the school or school system, and maintain their own bank account for the funds that are raised to support students in the school program – in this case the band program. We are grateful for the ongoing support that outside groups such as Band Boosters provide for our students. It is always our hope that everyone involved with organizations such as this will act in the best interests of students.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.