Lunch Lady Larceny? Cafeteria Staff Allegedly Stole Half of A Million Greenbacks

Joanne Pascarelli (left) and her sister, Marie Wilson (devoted), contain every been charged with one count of first-level larceny. Investigators issue the New Canaan, Conn., colleges where they labored lost a blended $478,588 in lunch money between 2012 and 2017.

New Canaan Police Department by plan of AP

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New Canaan Police Department by plan of AP

Joanne Pascarelli (left) and her sister, Marie Wilson (devoted), contain every been charged with one count of first-level larceny. Investigators issue the New Canaan, Conn., colleges where they labored lost a blended $478,588 in lunch money between 2012 and 2017.

New Canaan Police Department by plan of AP

Within the advantageous pantheon of cafeteria misdeeds, few are more dastardly than the crime of stealing lunch money. And current tradition offers up no end of fashioned suspects, from vindictive older siblings to schoolyard bully. However in New Canaan, Conn., the whodunit has taken a brand new twist. Police issue two odd culprits are to blame after two public colleges mysteriously lost nearly $500,000 of lunch money in a five-year span — the cafeteria workers within the support of the register. Sisters Joanne Pascarelli, 61, and Marie Wilson, sixty seven, surrendered to legislation enforcement final weekend after warrants were issued for his or her arrest. Each woman has been charged with one count of first-level larceny for allegedly conducting a draw that from 2012 to 2017 robbed the cafeterias at Saxe Middle College and New Canaan Excessive College of about $478,588 in money. If convicted, every woman might perchance perchance per chance well face up to twenty years in penal complex. “We’re deeply upset by this alleged violation of our trust and the trust of the full community, and are committed to continuing our elephantine cooperation with the New Canaan Police Department regarding these allegations,” the New Canaan Public Colleges superintendent, Bryan Luizzi, stated Monday in a letter to the community.

“The alleged crimes involve a particular fund, the cafeteria fund, which is separate and aside from the district’s working budget,” Luizzi added. Both girls folk contain denied the costs. “I might perchance perchance well never select money,” Pascarelli recommended police at some point of an interview earlier this year, essentially essentially based completely on the arrest warrant. “I do know better than that.” “There might perchance be well more to this memoir than what’s on this arrest warrant,” one in every of Wilson’s attorneys, Christine Landis, recommended NPR on Tuesday, adding that they belief to blueprint their case in court. Pascarelli’s attorney didn’t at once answer to NPR’s ask for voice. The arrests were bigger than 9 months within the making. The college district traced “irregularities connected to the handling of cash” to Pascarelli and Wilson, who police now mediate to were skimming money from the registers. Pascarelli led the meals program on the center college, whereas Wilson labored as assistant meals director on the high college — as a minimal, they did till they resigned below strain from the Board of Education final December. Later that month, the board handed along the complaint to the investigations unit of the New Canaan Police Department. The police issue that their analysis of records and interviews with witnesses printed a suspicious sample of behavior: money now not entered within the registers, deviations from fashioned procedure and retribution for other workers who spoke up about it. What’s more, police issue there used to be one other convincing share of proof: After Pascarelli and Wilson left their jobs, the average each day deposits from the cafeterias leapt critically, despite college enrollment closing current. At Saxe Middle College, to illustrate, the average each day select hovered around $33; up to now this year, the average is bigger than five events that quantity, at about $184. All recommended, authorities issue Saxe lost an estimated $128,000 and the high college lost bigger than $350,000 within the five-year duration. They add that the thefts might perchance perchance per chance well date support as some distance as 15 years, though police issue they were in a situation to transfer support finest five years in their investigation. Pascarelli and Wilson are every out on $50,000 bail and contain court dates later this month.

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