North Carolina: Employee of State’s Largest Voucher School Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $400,000

Isn’t it great to be free of people watching over your shoulder when you are in charge of the money?

That’s what the employee of North Carolina’s largest voucher school thought. He just pleaded guilty to embezzling $400,000 over an eight-year period from the school.

Lindsay Wagner writes:

Heath Vandevender is a coach, teacher and the employee tasked with managing the payroll operations of the state’s largest private school recipient of state-funded vouchers—Trinity Christian School located in Fayetteville.

In a Wake County courthouse this week, Vandevender pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $400,000 in employee state tax withholdings over an eight year period while serving in his capacity at Trinity Christian.

Vandevender entered into a plea deal struck with the state, whereby he will serve 3 months in prison, pay a $45,000 fine and be placed under supervised probation for five years. He will also serve 100 hours of community service. Vandevender has already repaid the nearly $400,000 owed to the state.

The basketball coach and journalism teacher will still be able to work at Trinity Christian, which is run by his father, Dennis. As a part of the plea deal, Vandevender will likely serve his incarceration at night while teaching, coaching, and—presumably—continuing to manage payroll operations during the day as part of a work release option.

Vandevender was charged earlier this year with embezzling $388,422 between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2015, from Truth Outreach Center Inc., located in Fayetteville. Trinity Christian School, which has received more than $1 million in publicly-funded school vouchers since 2014, operates under the Truth Outreach Center’s umbrella.

from novemoore


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