WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - Wichita County Sheriff Deputies continue to investigate a large theft from City View ISD dating back nearly a decade.
Court documents released Wednesday accuse Judith Ann Heaston, the former tax collector for the City View Independent School District, of stealing more than $320,000 from the school district over the course of at least eight years.
The investigation began after City View ISD Superintendent Tony Bushong completed an internal audit which found the large discrepancy. Court Documents say Bushong asked Heaston about the error and where the money could be on February 5. The next day, he announced an employee, later identified as Heaston, had been fired following the audit. Heaston was arrested on Tuesday, she has reportedly told investigators that all of the money is gone.
Documents say investigators also spoke with the president of the tax software company used by City View ISD. Upon review, the company found a difference of $323,382.51 between the money paid to City View ISD and money received by the state. The company says the the software had been manipulated to show a difference of money received to what was owed, and that the manipulation could only have come from a user of the software.
The company also says the discrepancies go back at least eight years.
However, investigators who checked Heaston’s personal bank account noticed numerous large cash deposits dating as far back as 2002, made during times when the school was open. Investigators have not said if those cash deposits were criminal or came from legitimate sources.
Heaston’s termination, announced on February 6, was made a week after the school board announced a bond election scheduled for May. The bond aims to raise $10 million for various school repairs.
Bushong hopes that the incident that has unfolded will not negatively impact voters’ outlook.
“...very unfortunate timing. We hope the voters will not take this out on our kids. The needs in that bond are the needs that we have for our school district to be successful in the future. I would hate for voters to take that out on us because of some poor choices made by one of our employees,” Bushong said at the time of the initial release.
Heaston has been charged with Theft Over $300,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, she no longer appears on the Wichita County Jail inmate roster.