A former Princeton Public Schools employee is facing multiple charges after she allegedly stole and then sold more than $95,000 worth of school district property, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Princeton Police Department.
The 58-year-old Philadelphia woman, who worked for the school district from 2000 to 2021, has been charged with official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, impersonation and financial facilitation of criminal activity, the prosecutor’s office said.
The woman, who had most recently worked as a purchasing agent for the Princeton Public Schools, was apprehended and released Oct. 3. She was suspended from the school district in July 2021 and resigned from her position a few months later, according to the prosecutor’s office.
School district officials discovered the alleged theft in July 2021 when the Princeton Public Schools’ business administrator learned that the woman had allegedly used a forged purchase order to buy a MacBook computer and that she later sold on eBay, the prosecutor’s office said.
The Princeton Public Schools Board of Education contacted police and took immediate steps to ensure that she would no longer have access to school district funds, school district officials said.
A full forensic audit was commissioned by the school board and conducted by outside auditors.
The 44-page forensic audit revealed that the woman allegedly used her position as a purchasing agent to create fraudulent purchase orders totaling $95,640.04, school district officials said. The purchases allegedly were made with money earmarked for non-public schools in the Municipality of Princeton, and for which the district is responsible for oversight.
She allegedly ordered the items and either kept them for herself or sold them for a profit, the prosecutor’s office said. The electronic equipment that she allegedly sold were recovered in Cherry Hill, Camden County, Colorado, South Carolina, and Pittsburgh.
Also, video evidence was obtained that showed the woman allegedly picking up custom interior doors at a building supply store in Hamilton Township, the prosecutor’s office said.
School district officials said that as a result of the forensic audit, the district has put into place additional layers of accountability and communication regarding the expenditure of funds for non-public schools.
The investigation was conducted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office’s Public Corruption Unit and the Princeton Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Taylor S. Hicks.