Woman pleads guilty in stealing $67K from Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

Tuesday , January 10, 2017 - 5:42 PM2 comments

LORETTA PARK, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — A former employee of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind accused of spending the school’s money for personal use pleaded guilty to one felony Tuesday.

Leslie Sue White, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a financial transaction card, a second-degree felony, after being accused of spending at least $67,000 in charges made to school credit cards.

She was originally charged with one count of communication fraud, a second-degree felony; two counts of unlawful use of a financial transaction card, second-degree felonies; and one count of theft, a third-degree felony.

Deputy Weber County Attorney Christopher Shaw said in court that as part of a plea agreement, White will pay back restitution for all four original charges.

RELATED: Woman accused of stealing $67K from Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

White appeared with her attorney, Vincent Stevens, before Judge Noel Hyde in 2nd District Court on Tuesday. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28.

According to court documents, White was accused of using a Sam’s Club credit card issued to USDB to charge $43,672 in 379 personal transactions from November 2011 to April 2016. She was also accused of fraudulently charging more than $20,000 to USDB credit cards at Smith’s Food King and linked to $3,370 in undeposited cash receipts.

The Weber County Attorney’s Office filed formal charges against White in September 2016 after the Utah State Auditor’s Office issued a report on July 19, 2016, that said inappropriate credit card use and missing cash receipts occurred between January 2012 and April 2016.

According to court documents, White left the school in January 2016 for another job, which is when the misappropriation of funds was discovered. The state audit report found missing documents, falsified reports, an improperly used tax exemption and untimely deposits of cash receipts.

The audit of the missing funds led investigators to White. Ogden police investigated the case after the state finished its audit in July.

Auditors received USDB advisory council reports from January 2012 to March 2016 which also detailed the missing funds, according to court documents.

The Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind is a statewide facility headquartered at 742 Harrison Blvd. in Ogden. It’s tasked with providing educational services to children with sensory disabilities. Funding for the schools comes from state appropriations and donations.

You can reach reporter Loretta Park lpark@standard.net or at 801-625-4252. Follow her on Twitter @LorettaPark SE or like her at Facebook.com/SeLorettaPark.

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