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Former Watertown Middle School Employee Sentenced

DECEMBER 22, 2011

BOSTON - A Watertown woman was sentenced today in federal court for theft and tax evasion.

Sharon Cardarelli, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to six months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release and ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution. Cardarelli pleaded guilty to theft from a program receiving federal funding and subscribing to false federal tax returns on May 10, 2011.

Cardarelli, who was ordered to report to prison on Feb. 3, 2012, also agreed to immediately turn over her Town of Watertown pension in order to satisfy much of the restitution amount.

Cardarelli orchestrated a theft scheme involving the submission of bogus time sheets to the town of Watertown. Since July 2001, Cardarelli was employed in a financial position for the Watertown Middle School, and among her job responsibilities, processed the payroll for substitute teachers who worked for the Watertown Middle School. In processing the payroll, Cardarelli prepared substitute time sheets and for authorizing those time sheets once completed and signed by the substitute. Cardarelli then sent the authorized time sheets to the Watertown Public School, Business Administration Office, where the actual paychecks were prepared and, thereafter, returned to Cardarelli for distribution. At various times between 2003 and 2010, two of Cardarelli ’s relatives occasionally worked as substitute teachers for the Watertown Middle School. In carrying out her theft, Cardarelli prepared and authorized nearly 250 substitute time sheets in the names of her relatives that falsely included hours that they did not work. Cardarelli then deposited the payroll checks generated in the name of her relatives on the basis on the false time sheets she prepared into her own bank account. Cardarelli did not report as income on her taxes the money she stole from the town of Watertown using the bogus time sheet scheme.

In her position at the Watertown Middle School, Cardarelli was also responsible for collecting and forwarding monies raised by student fund raisers to the Watertown Public School, Business Administration Office for deposit into the appropriate student activity account. Cardarelli kept at least $23,000 in fundraiser monies raised by Watertown Middle School student activities and made numerous corresponding cash deposits into her own bank account. Cardarelli did not report as income on her federal income tax returns the monies she stole from Watertown Middle School student activity fund raisers.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Chief Edward P. Deveau of the Watertown Police Department made the announcement today.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane C. Freniere of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.



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