Former Lebanon Area Boys and Girls Club director accused of nearly $38,000 in unauthorized purchases

Leah Pickens

LEBANON, Ind. – The former executive director of the Lebanon Area Boys and Girls Club is accused of making thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases using the organization’s money.

Leah Pickens, 50, faces four counts of theft and seven counts of counterfeiting, according to the Lebanon Police Department.

Police said the club’s board president, Lee Humphrey, contacted investigators after noticing unauthorized purchases from the club’s checking, PayPal and Menards accounts.

The investigation found nearly $38,000 in unauthorized purchases, some of which were used to buy items like a vacuum, Michael Kors purses, a luggage rack, a meat smoker, countertops, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets and a dishwasher.

Pickens served as executive director of the club from February 2015 through October 2017, when she stepped down from the position.

The investigation found that Pickens sometimes signed the name of other officials on checks requiring more than one signature, according to court records. Humphrey identified at least four checks that he didn’t sign. A previous board president raised suspicions about three checked signed in his name.

A receipt from an Aug. 15, 2017, purchase from Merle Norman initially brought Pickens’ alleged impropriety to light. Humphrey approached an employee and asked if the club was “doing anything with makeup with the girls.” The employee told Humphrey that the club “was not doing anything with makeup.”

Police obtained the original receipt from the store and compared it to the one Pickens submitted to the club and discovered that it had been altered. Many of the items were the same, but the prices had been changed and a Carson should bag that cost $238 didn’t appear on the receipt Pickens submitted.

The store’s owner looked over the receipt that Pickens provided to the club and said “the prices were way off for the items that were purchased” according to court documents. The two receipts showed a discrepancy of about $45.

Another employee informed Humphrey that Pickens had made some “questionable purchases” with the club’s PayPal account as well.

When police interviewed Pickens, she said she was reimbursing herself for purchases she made for the club with her own money and for mileage, court documents said. She told police that sometimes it was difficult to get signatures for reimbursements, so she would “front money” and then manage the money owed to her by “purchasing items for herself as reimbursement.”

She said many of the items listed on a search warrant would be found at the Lebanon Area Boys and Girls Club. However, police said they “checked every room” of the facility and couldn’t locate any of the items that Pickens said would be inside.

According to court documents, Pickens used $37,967.25 of the club’s money without authorization. She was arrested Tuesday and booked at the Boone County Jail before being released.