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Accountant accused of stealing school lunch money

A Rialto Unified School District employee is facing allegations of employee theft after school officials claim they saw her stuffing students' lunch money in her bra. The woman, age 48, was arrested in early August after the accusations surfaced, spurred by video surveillance tapes that reportedly caught the woman with sticky fingers. She has since resigned as the accountant for the school district's Nutrition Services Department, according to local news reports.

The woman was reportedly turned by the district's risk management department after her supervisor witnessed the alleged theft on video. The defendant is accused of stuffing large amounts of cash into her bra before leaving the facility on at least two separate occasions. Authorities say the woman was responsible for the majority of the school lunch money that flowed in through the district. The woman, who had been employed at the district for 16 years, deposited the money daily into a bank. Early results from a forensic accounting investigation show that a discrepancy of $2,000 has been identified since June.

Even though the financial records appear to have been tampered with, officials in the case caution against concluding that the woman somehow altered the documents on her own. So far, it appears that she is only facing charges related to the theft itself. A full forensic audit is scheduled to determine whether the woman was cooking the books while the cafeterias were cooking the food. Initial reports also show that the woman was found to be in possession of a large amount of cash when her personal effects were searched.

In this case, the woman's private banking records will be evaluated along with those of the school. She has not yet been formally charged. All criminal defendants deserve a fair trial in which they are considered innocent until proven guilty. This woman's case is in its very early stages; she would be wise to enlist the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Source: www.sbsun.com, "Search warrant: Rialto Unified accountant stuffed money in her bra" Joe Nelson, Aug. 30, 2013

Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results