Lunch Ladies Allegedly Embezzle 500K From Wealthy Connecticut Schools

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Two former lunch ladies handed themselves over to Connecticut police on the August 11-12 weekend after authorities asserted that they stole nearly $500,000 from a middle school and high school.

Sisters Marie Wilson, 67, and Joanne Pascarelli, 61, submitted to arrests by New Canaan Police after authorities alleged that they pilfered from Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School, respectively, reported New Haven Register. New Canaan police charged Wilson and Pascarelli with fraud and larceny.

“There is much more to this story. Marie is innocent and did not personally divert a single nickel of town money for personal gain,” Wilson’s attorney, Mark Sherman, told the Register. “She is not going to be scapegoated for the missing money.” (RELATED: Yale Students Have Symbolic Hunger Strike, Eat When Hungry)

The former lunch ladies are charged with stealing $478,588 from 2012 to 2017. The officers claim that Wilson and Pascarelli, who resigned from their jobs in December 2017, could have been stealing from the schools for 15 years, but a statute of limitations prohibited charges exceeding five years. Both have gotten out of prison on $50,000 bail.

Pascarelli’s attorney, Mark Carta, declined comment to The Connecticut Post.

“We are deeply upset by this alleged violation of our trust of the entire community and are committed to continuing our full cooperation with the New Canaan Police Department regarding these allegations,” New Canaan Public Schools superintendent Bryan Luizzi said on the district’s website.

Wilson and Pascarelli will appear in court on Aug. 21 and Aug. 24, respectively.

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