August 25, 2011
GALVESTON - A 33-year old account for the University of Texas Medical Branch, wanted for stealing over $75,000 from a nonprofit children's organization, has surrendered to Galveston County
Lauren Simon-Howell, who officials say manipulated bank deposits diverting
cash from The Rainbow Connection's account to her personal use, reportedly posted a $150,000.00 bond and was released shortly after being booked into the county jail.
The Rainbow Connection isn't affiliated with the medical branch, but the nonprofit organization is comprised of volunteers employed by the hospital who provide activities, such as a summer camp
for children with cancer and blood disorders.
Simon-Howell, then the organization's treasurer, withdrew $56,240 in cash from The Rainbow Connection's bank account between Oct. 28, 2009, and July 18, the affidavit states. The remainder of the
$75,180 theft includes accusations Simon received cash back when making deposits between Nov. 4, 2009, and July 15, the affidavit states.
Galveston Police Detective Dion Watson said she and her husband were losing their house and there were medical bills, and she didn't know what else to do.
Galveston County Prosecutor Elizabeth Cuchens authorized an enhancement to the theft charge, making it a second-degree felony, because The Rainbow Connection is a nonprofit organization, according
to detective Watson.
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