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School worker nabbed for stealing kids’ lunch money

Date Posted: 2008-06-13

A 29-year-old elementary school employee has been arrested for embezzling funds earmarked for school children’s lunches.

Toshiyasu Shiroma, the Haebaru Town mayor, made the announcement that the staffer had stolen more than ¥3.2 million over a period beginning in 2006 until April, when he was transferred. The man has confessed, telling authorities he “used the money for eating at restaurants, going to drink, and playing with people.”

The mayor dismissed the man from his post the same day he learned of the theft. The man has returned the embezzled money to the Town Office. The employee had been responsible for collecting lunch fees from parents, who paid the fees to him. Instead of turning the money in to the Town Office, he pocketed it.

The case was discovered after the man transferred, and his replacement visited children’s homes, where parents told him the lunch fees had already been paid to his predecessor.

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