Clark County, NV (KTNV) -- More than a quarter-million dollars is gone, stolen from the Clark County School District.
Las Vegas police said the person behind it was a school employee who quietly pilfered that money over nearly a decade. School officials first learned of the allegations last December and when they realized what they had on their hands, went straight to police. What they found was shocking.
52 charges detailed over 41 pages of allegations say Priscilla Rocha and four accomplices embezzled the money and goods, including laptops, computers, and televisions, over the course of about nine years.
"It distresses me completely. We are so strapped for resources as it is, we can't afford to let anybody take anything out of a student's hand," said Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky.
Rocha worked for the district for 24 years. She was the director of the district's Adult English Language Acquisition program before she retired in April, placed on leave when police took over. "We needed to get professional help," Skorkowsky said.
In her capacity as the program's director Rocha allegedly made some bold moves, not only filling out fake time cards for people who never worked at the school, calling the payments "tutorial services," but she's also accused of using school cash to buy a beauty salon, pay people working there, write checks to a California company for which she's the sole owner, and even pocket nearly $35,000 in bogus fees charged to students for dictionaries.
"Having been in this district for now twenty-six years, I will tell you there's not much that surprises me anymore. There are so many things that have happened over that time period, and so many things happen that you feel sad," Skorkowsky told Action News.
District officials said they'll be changing policies and procedures to ensure this never happens again, but they're waiting on more details from Metro Police to figure out exactly how Rocha and her accomplices allegedly did it.
Rocha is due in court next Thursday along with her four accomplices, who were not affiliated with the school.
District officials said there are also four other employees who are being investigated to see if they played any role in the embezzlement.