The finance manager of the Kid Street Learning Center Charter School in Santa Rosa, California, was recently found to have embezzled nearly $400,000 from the organization. Sheila Accornero stole the funds over a period of at least three years, using the money to support a prescription drug addiction.
A thorough accounts payable audit will be conducted in order to identify any further misappropriation.
"There could be other hidden money," Sergeant Michael Lazzarini of the Santa Rosa Police Department told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. "There's a lot of bookkeeping that has to be examined."
The school is required to present an independent audit to the district on an annual basis, but Accornero was able to disguise the embezzlement by writing a series of checks to herself for $1,000 or less, then covering the fund transfers using accounting techniques, according to the news source.
Accornero recently appeared in court to face charges of felony embezzlement, forgery, burglary, narcotic possession charges, and probation violations, according to the Healdsburg Patch.
She had previous convictions of fraud and theft, raising questions about why she was hired.
According to a separate Press-Democrat article, the school's executive director, Linda Conklin, had been aware Accornero was on probation but did not know the details of her conviction.
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