Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Former Torrance school employee charged with embezzling $100,000

October 7, 2010 |  4:24 pm

Prosecutors have charged a former administrative assistant with the Los Angeles Unified School District with allegedly embezzling $100,000 from a Torrance elementary school and PTA, authorities said Thursday.

Lisa Ann Castro, 46, faces four felony counts of forgery, three counts of embezzlement and two counts of misappropriation of public funds, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The onetime administrative assistant at the Halldale Avenue School is being held in lieu of $135,000 bail, Robison said. She is due to make her first court appearance Friday for arraignment at the downtown Criminal Courts Building.

If convicted on all counts, she could face at least 10 years in prison.

In 2005, shortly after Castro was assigned to Halldale, she was given oversight of two school accounts and made treasurer of the Parent Teacher Assn.,  prosecutors said.

Between that time and 2009, prosecutors said, Castro forged signatures on more than 100 checks, using the names of two different principals and two PTA officials.

-- Andrew Blankstein