Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Money From School Where She Worked

An Ahwatukee Foothills woman accused of embezzlement struck a plea deal that will spare her from going to jail.

Laurie Bassett was charged with embezzling money from Dobson Academy, the Chandler charter school where she worked as the finance manager. On January 22 she pleaded guilty and was placed on supervised probation. She was also ordered to repay the $20,233 she stole from the school.

Police say Laurie created fake invoices for janitorial supplies and wrote checks to herself and her husband for the amount listed on the invoice. When the checks returned to the school, she would "white out" their names and replace them with names of janitorial vendors.

Bassett's husband, James Bassett, was also arrested for allegedly cashing over $11,000 in fraudulent checks. He turned himself in around the time his wife pleaded guilty. He claims he took the money because he lost money on an irrigation job he did for the school, and that this was his way of recouping the money he lost after the school refused to work out a deal with him.

The school caught on to the scheme after an audit revealed a 300 percent increase in janitorial supply purchases.

Charged with Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a felony offense than can result in several penalties including incarceration, probation, restitution to the victim, and large fines. If you have been accused of embezzling money, it's in your best interest to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away. At the Knowles Law Firm, you can trust your case will be handled by a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience in the Arizona criminal system, and who is familiar with defending clients against embezzlement and other white collar crime charges.

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