Thursday, August 29, 2013

Former principal accused of embezzlement in New Hampshire

The former principal of a private religious school in Litchfield has been charged with stealing more than $150,000 from the school over a four-year period.
A Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury indicted Shannon Dannible, 36, of Amesbury, Mass., on a single count of theft by unauthorized taking and transfer for taking money out of the St. Francis of Assisi Parish school accounts from 2007-11. Dannible is charged with taking about $152,467, according to the indictment.

The current principal of the school, Amy Malinowski, was not immediately available for comment. The school is still on summer break and classes resume Sept. 3, according to an automated message at the school.
Dannible is accused of taking money out of the school’s accounts by writing herself checks, withdrawing cash and “directing school funds to pay off personal debts,” according to court records.
The alleged thefts all happened between Aug. 1, 2007 and June 30, 2011, according to the indictment.
The school is a “parish school,” meaning it is operated by the St. Francis of Assisi Parish but, like all Catholic schools in the state, comes under the overarching auspices of the Diocese of Manchester, according to diocese spokesman, Patrick McGee Sr.
McGee said the diocese has cooperated fully with investigators from the state Attorney General’s Office and said the alleged theft has not and will not affect the day-to-day operations at the school.
“It’s not affecting staffing, the school programs or the learning environment. Period,” McGee said. “This is not affecting the viability of the school in any way.”
In fact, enrollment at the school was up 30 percent last year over the previous year, he said, and a good deal of the missing $150,000 was covered by the school’s insurance policies.
The school also has instituted “additional internal financial controls” to prevent anything similar happening in the future, he said.
Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati said diocese officials brought the alleged theft to the Attorney General’s attention after completing a financial audit following Dannible’s departure in 2011.
Agati said the diocese and the school have been “100 percent cooperative.” He said he could not talk specifically about what Dannible allegedly used the money for, but that it used was for personal expense

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