INDIANAPOLIS – Carla Burke, 62, of Anderson, Indiana, has been charged with wire fraud, and will make her initial appearance before a Magistrate Judge in federal court in Indianapolis in the coming weeks.
The Anderson Community School Corporation (“ACSC”) is a public school corporation in charge of at least ten public schools in Anderson, Indiana. As part of its operations, ACSC employs teachers, administrators, coaches, custodians, and other professionals, and is responsible for the education of more than 6,000 children. Burke was the ACSC Food Service Department’s Bookkeeper. As part of her duties, Burke maintained the financial records for the Food Service Department. Burke was also responsible for issuing checks on behalf of ACSC approved by her supervisor.
According to court documents, between January 1, 2014, and June 30, 2019, Burke used her position as a bookkeeper for ACSC to embezzle nearly $1 million from the school corporation. Rather than submit legitimate vendor expenses, Burke issued approximately 312 checks to herself from ACSC totaling $976,773.29. To conceal her theft, Burke falsified ACSC records making it appear that the payments were to an ACSC vendor. Burke used the stolen funds for her own personal expenditures, including gambling at several casinos. Burke also willfully failed to report approximately $225,381 in income she derived from the scheme on her tax returns and lied to federal agents when questioned about her illegal conduct.
If convicted, Burke faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Actual sentences are determined by a federal district court judge and are typically less than the maximum penalties.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Indianapolis Field Office; and Paul Joyce, State Examiner of the Indiana State Board of Accounts; made the announcement.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany J. Preston, who is prosecuting this case.
An Information is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.