Florida Elementary School Bookkeeper Embezzles $20K for Gas, Groceries, and Cigarettes

Florida woman Dina Newland, 54, of Coral Springs, has been arrested after discovering that she stole nearly $20,000 from the Broward School District to pay for her gas, groceries, and cigarettes.

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According to the report from the Broward Schools Police. The investigation into Newland began when school officials at the Margate Elementary School, where she worked, discovered a negative balance in the school account at Wells Fargo bank.

Naturally, since Newland worked at the school for 18 years and had access to all the financials for the school, she was questioned first. After being questioned about the negative balance, the Broward County School Police were notified, and a criminal investigation was initiated. Newland was reassigned during the investigation.

Investigators and Broward Schools Auditors revealed that $19,986.10 was missing from the 2021-2022 school year. They determined all the missing monies were cash payments made during Scholastic Book Fairs and were taken from inside “Monies Collection Envelopes” used for school events.

The audit found inconsistencies with the collection of cash funds and missing entries in the accounting system used to catalog the school’s deposits, as well as school policy

School employees who worked with Newland were questioned about submissions of the money envelopes. They stated that Newland told them she was busy now and had the employees leave the envelopes in her possession.

She counted the monies alone and never with another school employee present, violating school policy.

When confronted with the evidence, Newland confessed to stealing the money, saying she used it to pay for groceries, gas, and cigarettes.

According to the arrest affidavit, “Newland indicated that she took the funds with the intent to pay the monies back and admitted to violating school board money collection policies.”

Newland was transported to the Broward County Big House and charged with grand theft and fraud. She was later released after posting a $3,500 bond.


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