Ex-East Central ISD booster club treasurer avoids prison in fraud case, for now

Ashlee Ring given six-week extension to pay restitution to victims in two criminal cases against her

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman who had until Tuesday to pay back more than $201,000 in restitution in two felony fraud cases has gotten an extension after convincing a judge she is close to extracting equity from property tied up in a related civil lawsuit.

Ashlee Ring made a brief appearance in person Tuesday morning in 144th District Court months after pleading no contest in one of the cases.

Ring misappropriated significant funding while serving as office manager for a San Antonio property management company from 2011 to 2016 to acquire several vehicles, a boat and land, court records show.

Investigators said by the time she was indicted for misapplication of fiduciary property and felony theft in Oct. 2019, she had already undertaken a second scheme to take money from a school district booster club while serving as its treasurer.

As part of a plea agreement signed in October, Ring agreed to pay back a combined $201,627.80 in restitution to her previous employer and East Central ISD’s Future Farmers of America Booster Club.

If half of the restitution, $100,813.90, is paid back by the time her sentencing takes place, prosecutors will recommend Ring be given community supervision but will oppose her application for deferred adjudication, according to the agreement.

If the full amount of restitution is paid back in time for sentencing, prosecutors will recommend Ring be given community supervision and will “remain silent” regarding her application for deferred adjudication. This means they will not contest her application.

Judge Michael Mery, who did not allow a KSAT 12 News camera in court for Tuesday’s hearing but streamed the proceedings live on YouTube, reset Ring’s sentencing to March 1, essentially giving her six additional weeks to come up with restitution.

“Your honor, my concern is to have the victims in these cases paid restitution, so with respect to this motion I am not opposed,” prosecutor Richard Guerra said moments before Mery reset the case.

“There won’t be too many more after this. If you don’t get it all done by then, you must show me substantial progress toward paying off this restitution,” Mery said to Ring before ending the hearing.

Ring declined comment while leaving court. Her attorney, Patrick Ballantyne, said she is close to overcoming “legal complications” from the pending civil suit that will allow her to get equity from a piece of property.

The civil suit, filed against Ring by her former employer in 2017, was reset last month and is not scheduled for another setting until early June, court records show.

Ring is representing herself in the civil case.

Reached for comment Tuesday, the attorney for the property management company who filed the suit said it was news to him that the civil case was close to being resolved.

He said Ring and attorneys for the management group have not had any conversations on a possible settlement and that they will not lift a hold on the property in question until the case is settled.

In her more recent criminal case, Ring was accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from the booster club.

She was eventually indicted last year on four felony counts, ranging from charges of misapplication of fiduciary property, to theft and money laundering.

Charging paperwork states Ring carried out that scheme between September 2018 and March 2020.

Ring had been serving as treasurer of the club despite being under indictment in the first felony fraud case, public records confirm.

Prosecutors took the charges into consideration as part of Ring’s plea agreement in the 2019 case, court records show.

District officials confirmed the booster club investigation last January and said, at the time that the club’s affiliation with ECISD had been suspended while the investigation took place.

The booster club has since been reinstated, a district spokesman confirmed last week.

Ring declined to answer multiple questions from the KSAT 12 Defenders as she left court.

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About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.