A former Linden Unified School District bookkeeper has pleaded guilty to embezzlement after going on a personal shopping spree on the district’s credit.
Cynthia Deann Haley worked in the accounts payable department and was responsible for making credit card purchases for the school district. But prosecutors say she took advantage of her access to credit cards and racked up thousands of dollars making personal purchases.
She bought bedding, a stereo, aquarium supplies for her pet snake and a long list of other merchandise, Deputy District Attorney Stephen Taylor said.
Haley was on medical leave when the discrepancies were discovered. Her fill-in noticed the unusual charges.
Haley, who is represented by local attorney Doug Goss, pleaded guilty on Monday to grand theft by embezzlement, a charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor because she cooperated with authorities.
Taylor said Haley has paid the $14,000 loss down to about $1,200. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 26 with the expectation she will pay off the remaining balance by then.
Haley faces up to one year in jail, but Taylor said the actual sentence likely will be “substantially” reduced if she continues cooperating.