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Press Release

Former Head of New Mission School Sentenced for Misusing Nearly $40,000 in School Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant used school funds to finance all-inclusive vacations to Barbados

BOSTON – The former Head of School for New Mission School in Hyde Park, an autonomous pilot school within the Boston Public Schools system, was sentenced today for misusing approximately $38,806 in school funds for her own personal use.

Naia Wilson, 60, of Mattapan, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to two years of supervised release, with the first 90 days to be served in home incarceration, 160 hours of community service and a $25,000 fine. Wilson was also ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture of $38,806 to Boston Public Schools. In September 2023, Wilson pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Wilson was employed as Head of School for New Mission School from 2006 until about June of 2019. Pilot schools like New Mission are granted maximum autonomy over their budget and spending. New Mission School receives a lump sum per pupil budget from Boston Public Schools and school administrators decide how to spend that money based on the needs of the school. 

Pilot school budgets are managed by an external fiscal agent that contracts with Boston Public Schools. The school funds managed by the external fiscal agent were held in a bank account. In order to spend school funds managed by the external fiscal agent, Wilson, in her role as Head of School for New Mission School, would be required to make a formal check request to the external fiscal agent for a check to be issued from the bank account holding the school’s funds.

Beginning in or about September of 2016 and continuing until at least May of 2019, Wilson requested checks from the external fiscal agent school account to be issued to various individuals, purportedly as stipends for work those individuals did at the school. Once those checks were issued, Wilson fraudulently endorsed the checks to herself and deposited them into her own bank account without the nominee ever knowing or authorizing her to do so.

Additionally, Wilson requested checks from the external fiscal agent that were used to pay for two all-inclusive personal vacations to Barbados for herself and several of her friends in 2016 and 2018. For both the 2016 and 2018 Barbados trips, Wilson requested that the external fiscal agent issue checks payable to other people who went on the trips and then converted that money to pay for the all-inclusive hotel and airfare. Wilson also fraudulently endorsed the checks used to pay for the 2018 trip.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement today. The Boston Public Schools were cooperative in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugenia M. Carris and Charles Dell’Anno of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

Updated January 9, 2024

Public Corruption