(TheConservativeTimes.org) – A former Massachusetts high school principal has been arrested by the FBI and now faces federal charges amid allegations that she used nearly $40,000 of the school’s money to pay for all-inclusive vacations in Barbados, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Naia Wilson, 60, is the former high school principal at the New Mission High School in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, from 2006 to 2019. She has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and has agreed to pay restitution after she allegedly embezzled money from the public school system and taxpayers of $38,806.
The New Mission High School is a college preparatory school with about 260 students from grades 7 to 12. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the institution is a pilot school possessing the maximum legal amount of autonomy over its funding. During Wilson’s tenure as principal, the school received a lump sum per pupil budget from the state Department of Education, which was then allocated at the discretion of the school’s administrators according to its needs.
Wilson was required to make funding requests to the fiscal agent, who would then request the proposed amount from the bank account holding the school’s funds. Wilson is accused of requesting money to be made out in checks for student nominees and then cashing those checks in her own bank account.
Instead of that money going to students, however, it allegedly paid for two trips to Barbados for her and her friends in 2016 and 2018. More specifically, Wilson is accused of converting the money from the checks issued to other people, as well as fraudulently endorsing the checks, allowing her to use the money for the 2018 trip, according to authorities.
Christopher DiMenna, FBI acting special agent in charge for the Boston Division, said that Wilson’s actions serve as a reminder that there are “serious consequences” for illegal, “shameful conduct.”
DiMenna said further that, instead of properly doing her job as principal on behalf of her students, she is accused of “abusing her authority,” and using the school’s budget as her own personal “slush fund” for her own benefit.
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