School accountant embezzles more than $1.8 million

Stealing lunch money is typically something high school bullies do, but in the adult world, large-scale account fraud in a busy nutrition services department is a crime of embezzlement. 

According to The Los Angeles Times, Judith Oakes was arrested for stealing money from the school district at which she worked as an accountant. The accused was suspected of the crime after she was discovered on a surveillance camera stuffing her bra with cash. Despite the efforts of the school board's fiscal management, Oakes was able to successfully embezzle close to $1.8 million before she was finally caught. 

The San Bernardino County Sun reported that the accused served as the staff member responsible for the funds of the Nutrition Services Department in the Rialto Unified School District. As the program's accountant, she had unique access to the funds for more than 14 years. The source reported that the school has since implemented an online payment system to help prevent this type of misappropriation from occurring in the future. 

Transferring payments to an online interface could be further optimized with the use of audit solutions. This strategy will help prevent future accounts payable fraud by assisting with the maintenance of monetary transactions. 

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