Tuesday, June 4, 2013

School administrator sentenced for stealing over $200 thousand in New York

A bookkeeper at an Albany charter school will spend at least the next five years behind bars for embezzlement after having been sentenced Tuesday.

Ronald Racela, 49, received a sentence of 5 to 10 years behind bars for stealing over $200,000 from the Brighter Choice Charter School where he worked as chief financial officer.

Racela’s sentencing came after he pleaded guilty in March to one count of grand larceny.

“The state prison sentence handed down by the Court reflects the selfishness of the defendant’s actions,” said Albany District Attorney David Soares. “Mr. Racela will have a long time to think about the victims he hurt through his greed.”

Soares also expressed gratitude for Albany Police Detective Bob Wise for what he called a tremendous effort in uncovering and investigating Racela’s crimes.

Between September 2011 and December 2012, Wise’s investigation revealed that Racela made a series of improper payroll entries to himself for a total of $208,837.45.

The inquiry also revealed that Racela had been on felony probation for a separate financial crime at the time he committed the fraud. Officials at Brighter Choice were unaware of his criminal background when he was hired as CFO.

Racela must also pay $174,400.08 in restitution.

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