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AG Tom Horne: Glendale Elementary School District Employee Indicted on Fraud-Related Charges

PHOENIX (Wednesday, March 20, 2013) - Attorney General Tom Horne today announced the indictment of Deborah Lynn Santa Cruz , 53, of Sedona for Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Theft, Misuse of Public Monies and Forgery. Santa Cruz was the Executive Secretary to the Superintendent of the Glendale Elementary School District (GESD) for several years up to her retirement in June 2008. The indictment alleges that from January 1, 2004 through May 31, 2008, Santa Cruz diverted GESD funds to an unauthorized personal bank account that she opened. The indictment charges Santa Cruz for the Theft of $14,680 in public school funds. Additionally Santa Cruz is charged with four counts of Misuse of Public Monies, one relates to the theft, two relate to the use of GESD funds for unauthorized purposes and the fourth relates to the purchase of 715 books purchased with GESD funds, but never received by the District. Four additional charges for Forgery arise from false entries allegedly made by Santa Cruz in various logs and purchasing documents related to some of her unauthorized purchases. Additional details of the case can be obtained from the Auditor General’s report that is being released to the Legislature and on their website today. “This is a very serious matter,” Horne said. “It is very disturbing to think that taxpayer dollars intended for the educational needs of young students may have been misused, and my office will vigorously prosecute this matter.” These charges are merely allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.