Woman Jailed For Stealing Nearly $2 Million In School Lunch Money
A woman was seen in a video stuffing wads of cash from a money bag into her bra, unaware her crime was being caught on camera.
She was filmed the next day shoving more handfuls of cash under her blouse and you won't believe where that money comes from.
Syeda Jafri of Rialto Union School District told INSIDE EDITION, "The money is lunch money from students at school sites. It is appauling and disgusting that you are stealing from kids. She was taking thousands of dollars a day."
Her name is Judith Oakes and for 25 years she was a trusted accountant with a school district meals program near Los Angeles.
After she was caught on camera stealing, cops found more bundles of cash and empty money wrappers at her home.
Cameras were rolling again when cops confronted her with the evidence.
An officer asked her, "How does it look, Judith? Like you've been doing this a long time."
"No, I haven't," she replied.
The officer asked, "Well, how long have you been doing it for?"
"Yesterday and today," declaired Oakes.
The cop then asked, "That's it?"
But that wasn't it. Cops now believe the 50-year-old widow and mother of three was stealing cash by the handful almost every day for up to 14 years.
She was charged with stealing $1.8 million but audits show she may have stolen twice that much.
Police Captain Randy de Anda says she was using the money to fund a lavish millionaire lifestyle.
He said, “Recreational vehicles, ATV’s, jet skis, boats. She was taking expensive first class trips on airlines to different sporting events around the country."
She also bought a sprawling three bedroom ranch-style second home with a pool and a spa for $230,000.
She was caught because surveillance cameras at the school district offices which had been out of action for years were repaired.
Jafri said, "There was a camera but she didn't know and that's how she got caught and there were very few people who did know."
Judith Oakes pled guilty to embezzlement. With no hair dye behind bars, her hair has grown gray awaiting trial. She was jailed for five years and ordered to pay back the money she stole at $150 a month. That will take her just 836 years.
According to the school district's audit, Ms. Oakes stole an average of $2,000 three out of every four days she worked between 2009 and 2013.