Official at prestigious T. Jefferson HS charged with stealing school money
A finance official at one of the Washington area's most prestigious high schools was arrested on Friday and charged with stealing $279,000 from student athletics and clubs and using the money to support a gambling habit, prosecutors said.
Susan Thanh Litwin, a finance technician at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, is charged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria with theft from a program that receives federal funds. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon.
Court records said Litwin was responsible for receiving and depositing funds, from parents and other sources, to support athletics, classes, clubs and other school activities.
Prosecutors said Litwin, 37, of Woodbridge, used her signature authority to write checks to herself and also to deposit funds into school accounts and withdraw the money. The checks and withdrawals ranged from $2,500 to $35,000, prosecutors said.
Thomas Jefferson is considered among the nation’s best public high schools and has the highest average SAT score for any public high school in America, according to rankings complied for Newsweek magazine.
In an interview with federal agents, Litwin said the money she is accused of stealing was used for trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City to support her gambling habit and to help with her high credit card debt and large mortgage payments on her home.
“These are difficult financial times for many public institutions, and an employee who breaks that trust needs to be held accountable,” said Neil H. MacBride, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria, who recently announced a crackdown on public corruption and financial crimes.
Washington Post editors
March 5, 2010; 1:09 PM ET
Categories: Fairfax , From the Courthouse , Jerry Markon
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