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Press Release

Former Wyandotte Elementary School Principal Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT - A former Wyandotte Elementary School Principal pleaded guilty today to embezzling over $89,000 of funds intended for use by the school to advance its educational mission, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced today.

Joining in the announcement was Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Chief Brian Zalewski, Wyandotte Police Department.

Krizia Allen, 38, of West Bloomfield, entered a plea of guilty to one count of theft from a federally funded program before United States District Chief Judge Sean F. Cox. The guilty plea arose out of Allen’s embezzlement of public funds while serving as the Principal of Garfield Elementary School within the City of Wyandotte. Allen used the school funds for her own personal gain or benefit, including for personal vacations, meals, gift cards, clothing, and rent.

According to the plea documents, from June 2018 through February 2023, while serving as the Principal of Garfield, Allen stole approximately $89,312 of public-school funds using various fraudulent means to divert the funds for her own personal use and conceal the theft. According to the plea documents, Allen used a corporate entity that provided no goods or services to the school to funnel over $24,000 in funds directly to her personal bank accounts. Once there, Allen used the stolen proceeds to make rent payments, purchase food, and make ATM withdrawals. Allen also repeatedly used a school credit card entrusted to her for official school purposes to make thousands of dollars’ worth of personal purchases on Amazon, including for digital gift cards for use at Nordstrom, Foot Locker, and Old Navy. To conceal these personal expenditures, Allen created false Amazon orders identifying school-related items for submission to the school’s finance department to justify the purchases. Finally, Allen used the school credit card to transfer over $50,000 in funds between the school’s PayPal account and her own PayPal account. During the same time period, Allen made over $50,000 in debit card transactions and withdrawals from her PayPal account for purely personal uses, including CashApp and ATM cash withdrawals, rent payments, and DoorDash purchases. To justify the regular fund transfers from the school’s PayPal account into her personal PayPal account, Allen created and submitted more false business invoices and receipts to the school’s finance department, which identified apparent school-related purchases that never occurred.

According to the plea documents, in February 2023, after becoming aware of Allen’s misappropriation of certain funds for personal purposes, the school confronted Allen and discontinued her employment. That same day, Allen conducted open-source Internet searches utilizing search phrases such as “embezzlement” and “minimum for fraud.”

United States Attorney Ison stated, “Krizia Allen stole tens of thousands of dollars of public funds intended to benefit its students. Every dollar Ms. Allen misappropriated for her own personal gain deprived the students and teachers of Garfield Elementary of the financial resources needed to ensure that each child at Garfield received a proper education. My office takes theft from such federally funded educational programs very seriously, and we will continue to bring those who steal from these programs to justice.”

“Educators are entrusted with the ultimate responsibility of ensuring our children receive a high-quality education and schools have the resources needed to accomplish academic goals,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Mrs. Allen admittedly violated that trust by misappropriating school funds, and she will face the appropriate consequences. This investigation was conducted by the FBI's Detroit Area Corruption Task Force. I would like to also thank the Wyandotte Police Department, especially Chief Brian Zalewski, for their partnership during this investigation.”

Sentencing is set for October 10, 2024 before Judge Cox.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney T. Patrick Martin. The case was investigated by our Detroit Area Corruption Task Force and then the Wyandotte Police Department.

Updated June 7, 2024

Public Corruption