GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A former financial secretary at Golden High School, charged with embezzlement, was busted after she was caught stealing from her own mother.
Judith Eakins was arrested by police in Golden on Jan. 9. She has been charged with theft and embezzlement of public property.
Eakins, 53, was employed at Golden High School from Oct. 1999 to Nov. 2012. she was hired by the school district as a paraprofessional but worked in several positions before becoming financial secretary in July 2008.
Dorothy Marvay is Eakins’ 92-year-old mother. She lives in a nursing home where her fees are set to be paid with her Social Security and pension money.
Eakins pleaded guilty to taking that money and putting it into an account where she could get to it.
It was after that guilty plea that Jefferson County District Attorney Peter Weir launched another investigation.
“So as a result of the offense against her mom it led to much greater scrutiny of her activities and her official role at Golden High School,” said Weir.
According to court records in Sept. 2012 an internal audit at the high school revealed losses in numerous school accounts managed by Eakins between 2009 and 2012.
Discrepancies in receipts indicated that cash turned in to Eakins was not deposited into the school’s account. The audit team also said it appeared that financial documents had been manipulated.
Eakins is suspected of taking nearly $156,000 during the three year period.
Some of the money that Eakins is alleged to have embezzled came from ticket sales to school events such as prom, concerts, drama productions and homecoming events.
As staff, Eakins worked the door or gate at some of these events and personally collected money for ticket sales.
Students are the victims in this case.
“I really do feel really cheated because my whole family has gone here and given money here and I feel like she has cheated on us,” said student Justin Myers.
The money should have been kept in the school’s safe, which was located in Eakins’s office, until she made the weekly deposit in the school’s account.
Eakins is also suspected of having misused the school credit card and taken property she purchased with the card for her personal use.
The investigation found Eakins allegedly spent the money on a computer tablet, dinners, gifts, a $10,000 DVD collection and more.
“It’s a burn to me because I’m in high school soccer and next year it’s going to be our funds for all that,” said student Evan Gregory.
“I don’t even know why they do it, they’re getting paid anyway for their job. If they didn’t get enough money they did they could have gotten a new job or ask for a raise,” said student Trenton Anderson
An audit found the managers of the school activities did not keep adequate records and did not obtain receipts when giving money to Eakins.
The Jefferson County School District issued a statement stating they have financial controls in place at every school but that Eakins falsified reports and lied.
Eakins is being held on a $50,000 bond.