Bookkeeper Stole $1m From School District for Gambling

  • Carla Burke worked in the food department of the school system as a bookkeeper
  • Her primary job was to oversee finances and issue checks
  • Burke funneled $976,773.29 to her account via 312 fraudulent checks
  • The maximum punishment is 20 years in federal prison
Auditor examining documents
Carla Burke, a bookkeeper for an Indiana school system, embezzled nearly $1m to use for gambling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Court date approaches

A bookkeeper working for an Indiana school district embezzled nearly $1m which she then used for gambling, according to federal authorities.

Carla Burke, 62, will soon appear before a magistrate judge in a federal court in Indianapolis. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, she was employed by the Anderson Community School Corporation and worked with the food service department, where her job was to oversee finances and issue checks written by her supervisor.

Burke illegally rerouted $976,773.29 from the school system to her account

Records show that from 2014-19, Burke illegally rerouted $976,773.29 from the school system to her account. She will plead guilty to fraud and false income tax returns.

School money spent on gambling

According to the police, Burke issued 312 checks to herself on behalf of the school system. After each fraudulent check was written, she would falsify records to make it seem as if the money had been sent to vendors.

money was used on a variety of personal expenses, including many trips to local casinos

The money was used on a variety of personal expenses, including many trips to local casinos, where she gambled with the stolen money.

In addition, Burke failed to report $225,381 on her income tax return and lied to investigators during questioning.

United States Attorney Tiffany J. Preston is leading the prosecution. If Burke is convicted, she faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, although sentences are up to the discretion of the judge and typically less than the maximum, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana

Other criminal cases 

There has been a string of high-profile cases of embezzlement and theft related to gambling across the world recently.

Earlier this week, a caregiver was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing over $50,000 from a disabled military veteran over a two-and-a-half-year period. A former director at a Mississippi airport was also indicted on embezzlement charges just a few days prior.

Across the pond, a UK woman stole roughly $1.4m from her employer and spent around £300,000 ($322,432) on gambling. 

In Wales, a finance manager stole £47,000 ($52,100) from a charity, also to gamble with.