Self-Serving School Administrator

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #196: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an Assistant Director of Academics at a junior-senior school.

Have you ever donated money to a school fundraiser? Maybe you’ve volunteered to help raise funds for a particular school project or activity. If so, this greedy person’s dirty deed will make you angry.

Schools don’t have a lot of fluff in the budget. In this case, there was a generous budget that was partly funded through donations.

Unchecked Responsibilities

A 40-something ex-middle school principal was the new Assistant Director of Academics at a school with approximately 1,000 students in grades 7-12.

One of her assignments was to coordinate an academic trip in December of her second school year to Finland for 18 staff members. She had a budget of $150,000.

A few months before the Finland trip, the School Director asked the Assistant Director of Academics about some irregularities in the budget. She resigned after being confronted with the disparities. The Director called the local authorities and then arranged for an audit.

Criminal Acts

After an accounting audit determined she’d embezzled more than $100,000 from the school, the authorities arrested her four months after she’d submitted her resignation.

She was charged with numerous counts of dealing in stolen property, passing forged documents, credit card fraud, money laundering, and grand theft.

The Finland trip had come in under budget by $55,000. She opened several PayPal type accounts in different names to funnel money from the school to her personal banking account.

Bank records showed she’d purchased home furnishings and paid off her debt with the school’s money. She used school credit cards to buy luxury items and travel while carefully submitting false invoices from fictitious businesses to match her expenditures.

No Trial

With plenty of evidence against her, she pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree grand theft, one count of money laundering, and one count of scheme to defraud.

A circuit court judge sentenced her to four years in prison and required her to pay more than $105,000 in restitution to the school. Plus she must serve three years of probation after her release.

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. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

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

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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Source:

The Ledger

The Daily Ridge

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Affidavit

Florida State Attorney Press Release

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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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Making A Difference At The Charter School

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

Imagine you arrive at your high-achieving child’s charter school in the morning and learn the school, without warning, closed. A sudden and unexpected closure happened this week to a local charter school in my area. Financial hardship is typically the reason for a charter school closure.

What leads to the financial hardship can take a few different paths. In my opinion, all paths lead to mishandling funds in one way or another. Bankruptcy can be the result of overpaying salaries, excessive expenditures, or both, as well as embezzlement.

The hardest failure to swallow is because of the type of financial hardship in the research I’m sharing this week.

BLOG POST #139: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving the founder and principal of a kindergarten – 12th-grade charter school.

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The Downfall Of A Greedy Chief Executive Officer

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

Greetings from Northern California,

Sadly, there was another senseless shooting this week, in a small Northern California community about three hours from where I live.

When shots were heard the school staff reacted quickly and placed the school into lock down seconds before the shooter arrived at the school. A local law enforcement spokesperson said to reporters, he believed the fast-acting staff saved lives.

As horrific as this type of event is for all who were touched by the tragedy, it also triggers memories for many others who were connected to other school crime events. My heart hurts for all who have suffered from this cruel act.

BLOG POST #130: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a school district’s Chief Executive Officer.

Building a Legacy

Before becoming the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the nation’s third-largest, financially strapped, metropolitan school district, she began her career in public education as a school teacher. She went on to become a prominent figure in urban education and served as the head of another large metropolitan school district as the chief academic and accountability officer.

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Corruption At The Charter School

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #123Charter schools are funded with tax-payer money but managed privately.

They have more flexibility with curriculum, budget, and staffing. Charter Schools are NOT exempt from standard accounting practices.

BLOG POST #115: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case about an Executive Director of a Charter School.

Stealing From The Most Vulnerable

It was the Executive Director’s frequent deposits to purchase a total of $760,000 in life insurance annuities from a financial security company that eventually raised red flags at the company, and they reported the suspicious activity to the FBI, prompting an investigation.

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