Up until recently, Lydia Johnson worked as the activity coordinator for Dakota High School in Macomb County, Michigan.
However, when the funds from the 2016 Homecoming dance didn’t match up with the attendance, an investigation began.
Johnson was charged with embezzlement from a nonprofit organization for stealing money from the school’s student activity fund and “gambling it away at a casino,” People magazine reported.
Based on the attendance for last year’s homecoming dance, the school should have taken in nearly $30,000. However, only $11,000 was deposited into the account.
When officials suspected Johnson, they searched her classroom only to find “several casino receipts.” Officials then went through the records at MGM Grand Detroit casino and learned “Johnson allegedly spent more than $90,000 at the penny slot machines in 2016.”
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in a statement obtained by People:
“This teacher held a position of trust within the high school. She repaid that trust by feeding student funds into a slot machine.”
The gambling incident is not her first offense.
Also in 2016, Johnson was in charge of a parent-student trip to Camp Tamarack. While she was meant to collect nearly $13,000 from participants, she allegedly only deposited $500 into the account.
When the camp attempted to collect its money from Johnson, they were unsuccessful. Therefore they reached out to school officials, who later contacted the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department following an internal investigation.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said in the statement:
“Many of these students will now remember their Senior Homecoming for all the wrong reasons.”
Johnson pleaded not guilty in court and was released on $10,000 bail. She is due back in court on October 5.
If found guilty, she could face up to 10 years in prison.