A former temporary employee of a D.C. charter school pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $75,000 from the school, according to federal prosecutors.
Darlene Ford, 46, worked for three months in 2010 as an accountant in the finance department at César Chávez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Ford stole the money by replacing the names of legitimate vendors with the names of fake vendors on 10 pending checks. She forged the signature of the school’s finance director on those checks, according to charging documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The checks, which totaled $73,350, were then “cashed and used for the personal benefit of [Ford] and/or her friends and associates,” according to the documents.
Ford is scheduled to be sentenced in September for stealing from a program receiving federal funds. She is likely to face between 12 and 18 months in prison and a fine of $3,000 to $30,000, authorities said Monday.
She must also pay $75,350 in restitution to César Chávez.
Officials at César Chávez, which runs four D.C. schools serving more than 1,400 children in grades six through 12, declined to comment. Ford could not be immediately reached.