School accountants are supposed to help schools save money and monitor their cash flow, but a former California school accountant was doing the exact opposite -- by stealing it.
"Authorities say Judith Oakes stole nearly $2 million over a four-year period," ABC anchor Amy Robach says.
Oakes was arrested in 2013, and in December 2014 she pleaded guilty to stealing the funds. Her sentencing came down Thursday.
Credit: Rialto Police Department
It's almost unbelievable -- she stole the money gradually from the Rialto Unified School District by shoving it in her purse and bra. And actually, the San Bernardino County Sun says she might have stolen more, but only $1.8 million is being accounted for:
"The statute of limitations kept Oakes -- who was an [accountant] for the district's nutrition services department -- from being charged with stealing the full amount."
Oakes was sentenced to five years in jail as part of a plea deal.
The 50-year-old was arrested after the school district ran an audit. KCAL called the sentencing "judgment day," and the school's associate superintendent had harsh words as well:
"We are dealing with a more insidious, lingering harm, which is the potential loss of faith in the district and public education in general," Rialto Unified School District Associate Superintendent Thomas Haldorsen says.
Oakes has already paid about $339,000. Sixty days after her release, she'll have to start making payments of $150 per month toward the rest of that $1.8 million. At that rate, it will take her more than 800 years to repay the total amount.
Check out more on this story from KTLA: