A Glendale high-school bookstore manager was indicted last week after state investigators claimed she had embezzled more than $70,000 through a skimming operation that lasted for years at Independence High School, according to a report from the Arizona Office of the Auditor General.
Investigators said Shannon May executed the scheme by withholding check deposits, forging signatures and falsely approving purchases, according to the auditor's report.
May was hired in 2006 to work at the Independence High School bookstore where she was asked to manage the store's incoming and outgoing funds and prepare district checks when student clubs requested a purchase, the report said.
It was not until 2010 that Independence High School officials discovered a check that had the forged signature of the assistant principal and the unauthorized use of the principal's signature stamp, according to the report.
May immediately submitted her resignation but the Glendale Union High School District looked further into reviewing bookstore accounts, the report said.
It was then discovered that May had been pocketing cash payments made to the bookstore, specifically between November 2008 and her resignation in April 2010, according to the auditor's report.
Investigators said May had carefully skimmed the bookstore account for those two years by continually depositing a portion of bookstore receipts and by consistently falsifying how much money was actually being deposited.
Reports from the Auditor General also said that May had gone to the bank 65 times to make cash deposits that ranged from $40 to $2,200. May deposited a total of $38,210 in cash into her personal accounts that were held at the same bank as the school district accounts, the report concluded.
After resigning from the district, May made significantly smaller bank deposits, as low as $385, a much smaller number than the $14,110 in deposits she had made in the six months before her resignation, investigators said.
The auditor's report also noted that Glendale Union High School District administrators admitted that cash-handling duties were not properly segregated and that the bookstore's funds were not properly recorded. District officials took some steps to address the shortcomings, including hiring an auditor.
The report released Monday included specific recommendations to increase oversight, including increased training and the development of more stringent policies.