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A former Shelby County Public School payroll clerk has been indicted on embezzlement charges, with a minimum theft of $80,000; the actual amount has not yet been disclosed.
“A Shelby County Grand Jury returned on indictment today,” said Shelby County Commonwealth Attorney Laura Donnell Wednesday.
Benita W. Anglin, 54, of Frankfort, is charged with 24 counts in all, including 8 counts of theft by unlawful taking over $10,000 but under $1 million.
The indictment alleges that the thefts occurred over the past 7 years, beginning in March 2007, and continuing through March 30 this year.
The indictment says that each charge encompasses an entire year – with the exception of 2007 and 2014, when alleged thefts took place between March and December – so it isn’t known whether funds were embezzled all at once or in increments.
Anglin is also charged with 8 counts of unlawful access to a computer, as well as 8 counts of identity theft; those charges correspond to the same time frame as the theft charges.
The theft charges and computer charges are Class C felonies, carrying from 5-10 years each and the identity theft charges are Class Ds, carrying 1-5 years, each, so she could potentially receive a maximum of 200 years in prison for all 23 charges.
Donnell said the next step is for Anglin to be arraigned on the charges, however, an arraignment date has not yet been set.
Said Donnell: “This is a very serious case; it is a violation of public trust.”
The investigation has been ongoing since May when SCPS Superintendent James Neihof expressed to The Sentinel-News that information had been uncovered implicating Benita Anglin in the manipulation of the payroll software MUNIS in connection with the thefts.
At the time, Anglin was the district’s payroll manager. She was suspended April 10 for the remainder of the investigation, but then she resigned April 28.
Neihof has said that money was found to be missing from substitute teacher funding.
He said he was aware of Anglin’s indictment status, but declined to comment further in that regard.
“I have read the indictment released by the Circuit Clerk as public record following the Shelby County Grand Jury’s indictment decision on August twenty,” he said.
Neihof added that the district would do everything possible to aid investigators in the case.
“We have been and will remain in full cooperation with both Kentucky State Police Detective Jason Propes and Commonwealth Attorney Laura Donnell,” he said. “We are very appreciative for the work being done by both of these individuals and their respective agencies on behalf of Shelby County Schools and the residents of Shelby County. Both have been exemplary.”
Anglin was unavailable for comment.
The investigation was conducted by Propes with Kentucky State Police West Drug Enforcement and Special Investigations Branch.
Anglin, who worked for 15 years in payroll for the district, is considered a state expert on school district use and implementation of the MUNIS software.
She received much of her training during her time at SCPS – which was one of the first three school districts in the state to pilot the MUNIS program – where she started in 1999 as an account clerk.
According to court records, Anglin has had money trouble in the past that led to court intervention.
In 2005, Anglin’s wages from the school district were garnished for more than $10,000 after failing to repay a loan that had been taken out in 2000 with Beneficial Kentucky, Inc.
Anglin served in a payroll position since 1999, just one year prior to taking out the loan. She was named payroll manager in 2001, and at that time was responsible for signing off on any required wage garnishes for district employees.
Staff writer Ashley Wilkins contributed to this story.