Lunch Ladies Allegedly Steal Almost Half A Million Dollars From School Cafeterias

According to police, two lunch ladies in Connecticut were methodically pilfering cafeteria accounts as they served children in New Canaan.   Marie Wilson, 67, and Joanne Pascarelli, 61, allegedly racked up roughly $500,000 over five yearsThe sisters worked at the Saxe Middle School cafeteria and the New Canaan High School cafeteria.  School officials claims that they found missing funds that are now charged as theft of $478,588 between 2012 and 2017. They could now received 15 years in prison if convicted first degree-defrauding a public community.

The sisters were identified after the school district implemented a new accounting software system.  Cashiers said that the sisters told them not to count the cash at the end of each day — taking over this important role.  Police say that they would them underreport earnings and pocket the difference.  On many days, the two reported no cash at the end of the day.

What is most striking is that this alleged scheme went on for 15 years but only the last five years are being charged due to the passage of time under the statute of limitations.  Of course, 15 year sentences at their age could well prove a life sentence.

21 thoughts on “Lunch Ladies Allegedly Steal Almost Half A Million Dollars From School Cafeterias”

  1. Schoolhouse Crock

    The thefts also demonstrate how a hundred grand a year can be cut out of the budget with no effective difference. Let’s shoot for 200 next year.

  2. a skillful skim, their main error was the common one: getting greedy and not laying off the scam on time.

  3. The sisters were identified after the school district implemented a new accounting software system.

    And there you have it, the root cause of this crime was an insufficient accounting software that failed to detect the oddity of having no cash receipts. They could have just as easily got themselves and Easy Button. Everyone knows that’s the best defense against human nature.

  4. I know of a case where a lunch lady was order meat that was never served to the kids. It was served at her cafe/deli. A new accountant got curious and looked into it. The accountant was fired.

    1. Please tell me that’s a joke and didn’t really happen. If so, that’s just awful.

  5. attach their pensions for restitution.

    The only way to curtail ( it will never stop) theft/fraud by public service employees is to make their pensions at risk.

    1. Deb:

      I actually disagree with pensions in general.

      For one thing, they are relics of the past. One would have to count on the solvency of the pension system in your old age. Here in blue California, they have agreed to such extravagant, lavish pensions that entire cities have gone bankrupt. Nothing has changed, though. Our governor keeps raising taxes and fees to fund his vacation train to SF and the failing pension system.

      The public sector uses the IRA or 401K system. They are in control of their own money after it vests, and the employer can make real time donations rather than future promises. It is also unfair that government employees receive better benefits than the private sector which pays their salary.

  6. If found guilty, then make em pay. Make em go to work cleaning outhouses. Jail time is too easy. Search all assets and seize them: house, cars, bank accounts, furniture, jewelry.

  7. If the lunch ladies are carrying
    away half a million, just think what the public education bureaucrats are getting away with! But it’s all “for the children” so don’t dare to require accountability or you’ll be demonized: “ Just fork over the exorbitant tax money and STFU.”

    1. There was actually a quote from the Public Teachers Union that they will start representing children when children start paying dues.

  8. My high school did not have a lunch program, you went home for lunch. However, my Catholic grade school did. Those lunch ladies looked shifty.

  9. Can’t wait until they have to eat that institutional gruel they’ve been passing off on kids. Karma is now being served — literally.

  10. The $500k is chicken feed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg $100 million donation to fix failing schools with then Mayor Cory Booker in Newark, NJ got squandered.

    NJ Senator Cory Booker doesn’t want to talk about the $100 million that got squandered when he was mayor of Newark, NJ.

  11. I wonder how much the total take was for the entire 15 years. Did they keep up the rate of $50,000 each annually?

    Glad the school eventually created some oversight, but there must have been zero before. What a shame. The schools could have used that money.

  12. Jeezes, let them go, they learned it from watching & doing just as GHW,JEB & GW Bush, Bill Hillary ,Comey Mueller & all those type Wallst Bankers doing the same.

    Ha, they all got busted clean but they all walked free.

    So if we’ve already a lawless society we might as well let these galls walk also!

  13. It is truly a shame that the supposedly educated and responsible managers in charge of this were unable to determine what was going on years. It’s also a shame that they cannot be charged for rampant stupidity

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