Baltimore Community High School has been leaking money for years and has finally identified where the missing funds have gone. The former principal of that very school was sentenced Friday to three months in jail for stealing money from a school bank account.
A Maryland state prosecutor charged 45-year-old Leslie N. Lewis with two counts of theft for taking more than $58,000 from the Baltimore City school system. Lewis was also stealing school system technology such as a dryer, a Bose speaker system, Apple laptops, laser printers, digital cameras, and other items.
Prosecutors say the money Lewis stole came from a bank account set up with the proceeds from the sales of school uniforms, snacks, school supplies and graduation fees. Lewis used a debit card to withdraw around $13,000 from the account which was largely spent at local casinos. In addition to stealing from the school's bank account, she used deceptive purchase orders to buy various electronics and other items.
Since 2013, three city principals have been convicted of stealing from student activity funds. In March of 2013, the former principal of Coppin Academy pleaded guilty to stealing over $10,000 from a school bank account. In October of 2015, former principal of Western High School Alisha Trusty pleaded guilty to stealing $54,000 from the school's activity fund.
When the school first caught on to the missing funds, the Baltimore City school system's legal counsel referred the case against Lewis to the state prosecutor. As a result, Baltimore City Circuit Judge Charles Peter sentenced Lewis to five years for each count but suspended all but 90 days on each count.
The sentences will run concurrently meaning Lewis will serve as little as 90 days total barring any violations. She will be on probation for five years once released and ordered to pay restitution to the Baltimore Community system of $58,689.
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