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Anderson school lunch fund theft by an ex-bookkeeper has resulted in a $2.9 million fine



Anderson, Indiana – A former bookkeeper for Anderson Community School Corporation was ordered by a judge to repay more than $2.9 million for pilfering hundreds of thousands of dollars from the school meal budget.

In February, Carla Burke, who had admitted to wire fraud and filing false tax returns, was given a 28-month term in federal prison. According to federal authorities, she wrote herself more than 300 fictitious checks from the ACSC food service, which she then deposited into her own bank account.

In all, Burke embezzled $976,773.29 from the school corporation between January 2014 and June 2019. Burke used the money to gamble and pay for personal expenses when it should have gone to food sellers.

She was ordered by a federal judge to repay the money plus an additional $141,000 that she owed the IRS at the time of her sentencing. The State Board of Accounts audit revealed the scam to the school district.

Under the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act (CRVA), the Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a case to recover extra damages, which included three times the amount of restitution plus legal and court fees.

In the CVRA lawsuit, Madison County Circuit Judge Andrew Hopper entered a default judgment directing Burke to pay $2,946,871.84 plus interest, deducting any previously made payments that may be relevant. The court observed that the state obtained $125,000 through insurance proceeds.

“In her capacity as the Bookkeeper of the Department, Burke committed malfeasance by misappropriating public funds as described in the Audit Report, which is not disputed by Burke in this matter, sufficiently pled in the Complaint, and materially supported and consistent with charges she pled guilty to in the Criminal Matter,” Hopper wrote in his judgment.

Burke worked from 2007 until her retirement in 2019 as the food service bookkeeper.



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