Sunday, May 19, 2013

Former school clerk sentenced in embezzlement in Ohio

A former Warren County Career Center clerk on Wednesday was placed on house arrest for 120 days and ordered to pay restitution of $4,753 she embezzled from the school.
Judge Robert Peeler also placed Teresa A. Lindsey, 47, of Wayne Twp., on probation for three years during a hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Assistant County Prosecutor John Arnold urged Peeler to send a cautionary message to others tempted to embezzle from schools or community groups by sending Lindsey to jail.

However Peeler said the sentence allowing Lindsey, a single mother, to care for her son and continue working two part-time jobs, was a better solution.

“Most people go to jail for these theft in office offenses,” Peeler said. “We have to send a message here.”

Lindsey admitted stealing the money while working as a clerk in the school’s adult education department and altering paper and computer records to cover the thefts. A change in bookkeeping systems at the school partially obscured the entirety of the embezzlement, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said.

The discrepancies were discovered in June 2012 after the new accounting system was set up at the school, north of Lebanon in Clearcreek Twp. Lindsey, a part-time worker for more than a decade, resigned the same month, school officials said.

At the hearing, Lindsey apologized and promised to never embezzle again. Convicted of tampering with records and theft in office, Lindsey is “forever disqualified from holding any public office, employment, or position of trust in this state,” according to court records.

Peeler barred her from returning to the school. Officials said additional safeguards had been added to prevent future embezzlement.

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