School Superintendent Uses CU Account To Drain Funds

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The former superintendent of a tiny school district here confessed to stealing as much as $845,000 from the 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 10 years in prison.

DeShon told authorities he stole the money by diverting some of the district's investment funds to an account he set up at Northwest Missouri Regional CU as a "second account" for the district, then directed the district to deposit the funds in his credit union account.

The loss of funds helped push the tiny school district deep into deficit and forced it to lay off teachers in the 2002-2003 school year, and to defer capital purchases for computers and other equipment.

Because of DeShon's fraud, at the time of his resignation in October 2004, the district's bank account had a balance of only $14.

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