A man who used to work as a teacher at Willingboro High School in Willingboro NJ is going to be spending time in jail after pleading guilty to the theft of student funds.
The suspect is a 47-year-old man who lived in Mount Laurel and taught history at Willingboro High School. The suspect also served as a football coach and a senior class advisor at the school, giving him easy access to funds earmarked for students. Prior to working at Willingboro High, the suspect was employed as a football coach at high schools located in Camden, Haddon Heights, Jackson, Pennsauken, and Willingboro.
Between October 2015 and April 2016, the suspect reportedly stole nearly $15,000 in money that students and their parents had provided for official school activities. The suspect reportedly stole the money in order to cover his massive gambling debts.
After an investigation by detectives with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office uncovered the suspect’s embezzlement, he was placed under arrest and charged with multiple criminal offenses. Among the crimes the suspect was charged with were theft by deception and official misconduct.
Although the suspect faced a potential punishment of up to five years in New Jersey State Prison if convicted on the most serious charges of theft by deception, he was able to secure a more lenient sentence by arriving at a plea deal with Burlington County NJ prosecutors.
In exchange for the suspect pleading guilty to third degree felony charges of misapplication of entrusted property, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of just 364 days in the local county jail.
A major factor in the suspect’s favorable plea agreement is that he has no prior criminal record. As a result of the suspect’s clean record, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to drop the charges of official misconduct.
The suspect’s plea deal with Burlington County prosecutors also calls for him to be barred from any kind of public employment in New Jersey, which means that he will likely never again be allowed to teach at a New Jersey school.
Additionally, the suspect has reportedly agreed to undergo counseling so that he can better deal with his gambling addiction. The counseling is mandatory, which means that any failure by the suspect to attend the required sessions could result in him being incarcerated for an even longer period.
To learn more, check out the NJ.com article, “Former High School Teacher Reportedly Admits to Stealing Student Money for Gambling.”
If you have been arrested and charged with a theft crime in New Jersey, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact the Law Firm of Stephen R. Piper today to schedule a free consultation about your case.