Ex-School Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Says her gambling habit made her do it

By Michelle Tetu
|  Thursday, May 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:01 PM EDT
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Ex-School Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Susan Litwin

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Susan Thanh Litwin, 37, of Woodbridge, Va., pleaded guilty today to stealing more than $279,000 from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Fairfax County magnet school.

“Susan Litwin didn’t just steal from her employer, she stole from the students at Thomas Jefferson High School and those who donate funds to support public education,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.

Litwin worked as a finance technician at the school from January 2007 to March 2010.  She was in charge of receiving and despositing funds that should have gone to student athletics programs, clubs and other school activities.

Instead, she used her position to write checks to herself, make withdrawals from TJHS bank accounts and deposit the money into her own bank accounts, according to the Justice Department.

They said she admitted to stealing more than $279,000 in $2,500 to $35,000 increments.

Litwin allegedly told law enforcement officials that she used the money to support her gambling habit which included trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  She also allegedly said she had extensive credit card debt and large mortgage payments on her house.

Litwin could spend up to 10 years in prison.

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