School payments, solution for accountants, school business manager.
Antoinette Garcia, 45, was charged for embezzling grant funds received by the Bernalillo Public Schools system. According to court documents Garcia admits she stole up to $95,000 to pay her own bills and expenses.
Garcia was previously indicted on fraud and embezzlement charges for allegedly stealing from a credit union where she used to work. But Bernalillo Public Schools didn’t know about it because Garcia completed a “diversion” program and avoided prosecution.
The district started investigating once vendors started calling, saying they weren’t getting paid. Money was missing from the school’s general account and parent-teacher organization accounts.
The missing money should have gone to classrooms. As forensic audit states, some of that money was raised through school fundraisers.
A former school teaching assistant Emma Ortiz said: “I think it’s sad, it’s terrible, it’s wrong.” “A hundred dollars is a lot of money that can provide any kind of school supplies, teachers are buying their own supplies for kids.”
Garcia is still awaiting sentencing. She faces up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.