East Side Elementary School (PS 267) is a place “…where observation and imagination are celebrated and where the question “why” is welcomed and encouraged.” US News and World Report recently ranked it as NYC’s ninth best public elementary school.
Located at 213 East 63rd Street, the school boasts of its dedicated Parent Teacher Association, a non-profit organization supporting efforts such as fundraising, community engagement and inclusivity initiatives; an organization that every parent is automatically a part of and can participate in as much or as little as they’d like.
One parent, Marc Haynes, took on the position of co-treasurer, and later, co-president. In fact, he took much more than that; On March 22, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced his indictment for stealing $185,717.
“Marc Haynes is accused of using his own child’s elementary school PTA to bankroll luxury vacations, shopping sprees and even to pay court-ordered restitution from a prior conviction for stealing from his former employer,” said District Attorney Bragg. Haynes was previously convicted of Grand Larceny in the second degree in 2016, in a case also prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney, in which he stole over $50,000 from his former employer (a publisher). He is accused of using PTA funds from East Side Elementary to pay $23,838 in court ordered restitution from that case.
In total, from October 26, 2020 to July 6, 2021, he made 17 unauthorized payments to his Chase credit card from the PTA’s checking accounts, according to the indictment. In addition to the court ordered payments from his previous conviction, these embezzled funds were reportedly used to finance luxury hotels on the islands of Bermuda and St. Lucia, and to pay for purchases at Fendi, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.
In October 2021, the new PTA co-treasurers noticed a strange transaction in the amount of $9,081, with no supporting documentation. Haynes, who was serving as the co-president at the time, tried to explain the charge by claiming it was used to reimburse another member for an emergency furniture purchase. When this couldn’t be verified, several members emailed Haynes asking for proof — and he responded by resigning from the PTA.
Following Haynes’ resignation, one of the co-treasurers fell down the rabbit hole of discovery, finding more unexplained credit card payments ranging from $2,389-$32,000. The authorities were contacted, and the Manhattan District Attorney got involved. Haynes is being charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony. “I thank the diligent PTA members who uncovered these thefts and reported them to my office,” Bragg said. “As we see far too often, no organization, even one dedicated to the children of our city, is immune to insider theft and fraud.”