School Embezzlement Laundered ThroughCU

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PATTONSBURG, Mo. - (03/10/05) -- The former superintendent of a tinyschool district here confessed to stealing as much as $845,000 fromthe school coffers which he gambled away at riverboat casinos.Ronnie DeShon, 50, who resigned as superintendent in October,pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges this week and faces up to 10years in prison. DeShon told authorities he stole the money bydiverting some of the district's investment funds to an account heset up at Northwest Missouri Regional CU as a 'second account' forthe district, then directed the district to deposit the funds inhis credit union account. The loss of funds helped push the tinyschool district deep into deficit and forced it to lay off teachersin the 2002-2003 school year, and to defer capital purchases forcomputers and other equipment. Because of DeShon's fraud, at thetime of his resignation in October 2004, the district's bankaccount had a balance of only $14.

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