School Employees Steal to Fund Gambling Habit

by Sadonna Price on February 1, 2013

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    We all know that gambling can be very addicting. Many individuals have become victim to a gambling addiction and must work through their issues to be able to live a normal life. This is why casinos as well as online gambling operators try to offer gambling addiction options such as counseling and information so those who suffer from this condition can receive help. However, some addicts will go to extreme measures before they admit that they have a problem. Recently, two women were arrested for stealing from their employer to gamble at a local casino. The two women, both former lunch ladies in Pennsylvania, could soon be serving time instead of lunch for their crimes.

    Stacy Lee Shipley and Shelia Ann Cook, both former lunch ladies of the Charleroi Area School District have been accused of stealing almost $94,000 in lunch money funds to fund their own gambling habit. Investigators involved in this case stated that Shipley was responsible for making the deposits from the lunch money accounts of students. She would keep the cash deposits and then share the money with Cook so they could go the Meadows Racetrack and Casino to gamble.

    It is not certain how long this charade took place but Dr. Brad Ferko, the superintendant of the school district, stated that it was a couple of months ago that $30,000 in lunch money was discovered missing during a budget meeting. The group looked into the matter and found that a great deal more money was missing than $30,000.

    In a recent interview with Brenda Waters of KDKA, Ferko stated: “If you steal from the Charleroi Area School District, we are going to pursue, pursue until we get to the bottom because we owe it to our community and our taxpayers.” Ferko went on to state that a new system has already been put in place for lunch money deposits so that this instance cannot happen again.

    Both Shipley and Cook were arraigned yesterday morning and both were released on $50,000 unsecured bond. Both women had worked in the district for almost a decade. The theft hurt the school district considerably since most of the lunches are either free or reduced.

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