Frequent Mabton school volunteer under criminal investigation

Frequent Mabton school volunteer under criminal investigation »Play Video
MABTON, Wash. -- Tawnya Ibarra is a parent and frequent volunteer with the Mabton School District who is now being investigated for forgery, fraud and possible Identity theft.

"Everyone has seen her at the front booths collecting money. She's a front-runner to have operated the booster clubs approved by the school district in Mabton," said Mabton Police Sergeant Cas Cedillo.

Investigators said she lied about her identity on her application to volunteer with the Mabton School District.

Specifically that she used a friend's name and driver's license on a background check waiver form.

"She's known by face, by name," said Cedillo. "And, so there's a little that she wanted to keep in the closet and it finally came to light."

The district flagged her and turned the case over to police.

Investigators say she was trying to hide a criminal history. It turns out Ibarra was wanted in Franklin County for felony theft and has a prior conviction.

Neighbors wonder why someone who volunteered to work around children wasn't flagged sooner.

"She was attempting to conceal a criminal history," said Cedillo.

Investigators learned Ibarra was wanted in Franklin County for felony theft charges.
And had been convicted of a felony theft charge in the past.

"Volunteers should be under the same subject as people who are getting paid it should be the same way," said Neighbor Kathy Ledesma.

Investigators are now taking a closer look at her volunteer activity.

They say she collected money for a school booster program and want to make sure all the money got to the right place.

Mabton police say Ibarra is still under investigation for both fraud and money laundering.

Once those investigations wrap up, charges will be forwarded to the Yakima County Prosecutors office.

To get all sides KIMA called the Mabton School District and Tawnya Ibarra repeatedly.

The district didn't get back to us.

Ibarra called us late this afternoon saying her first priority has always been her children and to spare them from mistakes she made years ago.