A former Charlottesville school director has been arrested after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the school she once led.
Mary Anderson, 40, is charged with embezzling more than $27,000 from the Lafayette School and Treatment Center on Fontaine Avenue.
The Lafayette School and Treatment Center is a nonprofit organization that works with special education students. Because of the amount of money that was taken, Anderson's actions caused innocent people to lose their jobs. Three employees had to be laid off just before Thanksgiving. The school issued a statement Monday morning (see below).
The Albemarle County Police Department arrested and charged Anderson with one count of embezzlement on Friday. This is a felony offense.
Police say the former director took a little more than $27,000 from the Lafayette School and Treatment Center between April 27, 2008 to September 26, 2011.
Monday night the Lafayette School and Treatment Center is speaking out, and we are learning the toll it took on the school's finances.
Barret Stump is the current co-director of the Lafayette School and Treatment Center in Albemarle County, and calls the arrest of former director and colleague Mary Anderson an unfortunate circumstance.
"I was deeply saddened because of the students that we serve," Stump said. "You don't think anybody is capable of something like this, but you know, the economy's bad and people make choices.
Stump and her husband took over the school after Anderson resigned in 2011. She says they knew something was wrong after noticing some accounting discrepancies.
"When we first started, we knew that the school was struggling financially, so we started looking at numbers and looking at past history and just things weren't right," Stump said.
Albemarle County Spokeswoman Carter Johnson said, "We were contacted in March by the current director of the Lafayette School, who had some concerns about their financial records."
Albemarle County police say they are not able to specify where the money went. Anderson is out on bail, and a court date is pending.
Stump says the school has moved forward and is focused on its continued mission to help children learn and grow. The school now has new directors, a new board of directors, and a new accountant.
Lafayette School and Treatment Center Press Release
Private School for Special Education Students Suffers Embezzlement by Former Administrator
Lafayette School and Treatment Center is a nonprofit organization which serves children in grades K-12 who are not successful in traditional school settings. We have a high quality educational and therapeutic program that continues to meet the needs of our clients.
When Barret and Chuck Stump, Co-Directors began working at LSTC, they became aware of some accounting discrepancies. This information was given to the police, who conducted a full investigation and moved forward with the indictment of the former administrator.
The financial issues have had a significant impact on the staff and students at LSTC, and did result in some recent layoffs. However, the school continues to move forward. We have a complete new Board of Directors, new Directors, a new accountant, and our continued mission to help children learn and grow.
Albemarle County Police Department Press Release
The Albemarle County Police Department has arrested Mary P. Anderson and indicted her on one count of embezzlement. Anderson, 40-years old from Charlottesville, was charged with embezzling $27,024.56 From the Lafayette School and Treatment Center on Fontaine Avenue. Anderson was employed as the Director of the school at the time of the embezzlement, between April 27th, 2008 and September 26th, 2011.
The Albemarle County Police Department was contacted by the new school director when the discrepancy in the funds was discovered. After an investigation, Mary Anderson was arrested on Friday, December 7th and charged with one count of embezzlement, a felony offense. She was released on a personal recognizance bond. A court date is pending.