NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A Westchester teacher who was entrusted with money from student fundraisers has been accused of betraying the young people who depended on her.
Dorothy Lepore is now suspected of stealing the money for herself.
Students and co-workers of the 41-year-old math teacher said that they considered her to be upstanding and good with numbers. It was a no brainer that she would be the Tuckahoe schools’ treasurer in charge of proceeds from fundraisers including bake sales.
In a special bank account used for fundraiser money the totals weren’t adding up. A school staffer noticed that there were lengthy deposit delays and that tens of thousands of dollars were missing.
“Things are supposed to go towards the children and someone’s taking the money,” Eastchester parent John Sirabella told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
Prosecutors said that Lepore pocketed at least $26,295 between May and December 2013, investigators would not say where the allegedly stolen money went.
Lepore was arraigned on charges of felony grand larceny and sent home without bail. Lights were on but no one answered the door at the Lepore home in the upscale neighborhood of Carmel, some 40 miles away from the school, on Wednesday night.
A family friend told CBS 2 that Lepore is a single mother with two young children. Her father has lung cancer and recently underwent surgery.
Some students now question the fundraisers that they took part in.
“We were planning an 8th grade trip so we had some bake sales and stuff for that,” Katie Doherty said.
It was unclear on Tuesday if Lepore was still drawing a salary. The school district said that they could not comment on specific personnel matters.
Lepore faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.
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