Not So Fast

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Robin Lyons Author websiteLast month, while schools closed due to an abundance of caution with the COVID-19 outbreak, the court system continued to sentenced people for school-related crimes.

This woman thought she’d set herself up for a comfortable retirement life. Not so fast—she received a wake-up call when law enforcement came knocking.

BLOG POST #229: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school student finance clerk.

She had worked as a student finance clerk for 19 years before she retired. Almost two years after she’d retired, she was indicted on 222 felony embezzlement counts.

The District Attorney said, “Not only did she steal taxpayer funds, she stole money that was intended to help educate the lives of our children.”

After she’d retired, the school district received a late notice for an invoice marked as “paid” in their system. An audit was performed and found more than $700,000 missing.

Through the audit, the school district learned the student finance clerk had writing checks to herself, her husband, and her deceased mother from student body accounts. Students had raised the money in those accounts through fund-raising activities.

She pleaded guilty to all 222 felony counts of misappropriation of money by a public officer with an enhancement of aggravated white-collar crime exceeding $500,000.

The judge sentenced her to 14 years in prison. She’ll be 78 when she’s released.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Be safe and thank you for reading!

-Robin

 

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Source: Orange County District Attorney Office, Orange County Sheriff Department, Orange County Register, L.A. Times.

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Greed and the Perfect Audit

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons blogBLOG POST #211: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a school district chief financial officer.

As the chief financial officer in the K-12 school district with close to thirty-five thousand students, his salary was one of the highest in the district. He’d been with the district twenty-five years.

High Marks

For twenty-four years, the school district’s independent auditors gave the school district high marks for their excellent financial practices. As would be expected, the superintendent proudly spoke to the school board about this incredible achievement.

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Revenge At The High School

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #187: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school custodian.

Someone had scrawled a threatening message on the wall of a boys’ bathroom. A student reported the graffiti—sending the school into a lock down for the second day in a row.

Two days with back-to-back bomb threats at the high school put everyone on edge. The sheriff vowed to find who’d made the threats and seek justice.

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Living Large At The District’s Expense

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons Blog Post Living Large At The District's ExpenseBLOG POST #175: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a school business manager who embezzled $1.6 million.

The 50-something business manager worked for the rural school district for ten years before she put into place her embezzlement scheme. And the school district didn’t catch on for another ten years.

She made payments to herself and used district money for personal expenses. The accounting records were altered to show payments to legit vendors that never happened, and she changed payroll records showing employees had a higher income than they received. Those employees paid a total of more than $13,000 in income taxes to the IRS they didn’t owe.

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Extortion And Bribery At School

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

On the heels of Black Friday—the biggest shopping/spending day of the year—I thought school employee extortion, and bribery might be fitting.

BLOG POST #168: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a ring of seven transportation employees.

Who’s Minding The Shop?

The employees worked for the city’s department of education (DOE), special education transportation division. Their jobs included setting the specifications for bus routes, overseeing bus routing bids from bus companies, securing transportation for field trips, and addressing vehicle safety issues found through random safety inspections.

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