Vt. principal accused of embezzlement, forgery and petit larceny - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Vt. principal accused of embezzlement, forgery and petit larceny

Photo: Michael Heller (Vermont State Police) Photo: Michael Heller (Vermont State Police)

READSBORO, Vt. – The principal of Readsboro Central School has been arrested and accused of misappropriating funds.

Michael Heller, 40, of Fairfax, turned himself into the Vermont State Police on Monday to face charges of Embezzlement, Forgery, and Petit Larceny.

According to police, on December 19th, 2013 the Superintendent of the Readsboro Central School contacted Vermont State Police to report suspected fraud and embezzlement discovered during a financial audit.

The superintendent's office as well as the Readsboro School Board suspected the principal was misappropriating funds. After a lengthy investigation, these allegations were substantiated.

According to investigators, he applied for and received grants awarded to the school. The grants were in the form of money to be used for school related items, but he allegedly accessed the money for personal use, including hotel stays, meals and other shopping.

Police say Heller used more than $4,000 of the grant money for his personal use.

When originally questioned by the school board, Heller submitted self-manufactured lists of transactions in an attempt to cover his illegal activities, resulting in charges of forgery.

During the course of this investigation, State Police interviewed the principal's secretary who reported an ongoing theft of children's lunch money. State Police developed sufficient evidence that showed Heller was responsible for taking approximately $200 over a period of time, for his own use, instead of handing it in for the student's lunches.

Heller was processed and released on conditions that include an initial appearance date in Bennington Criminal Court.

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