PLAINVILLE – A former Board of Education employee was charged Tuesday with embezzling $40,000 from school accounts after a year-long investigation.
Maria Bourlogiannis, 59, of 68 Pequot Road, worked in the accounts payable department of the school system until August 2016 when her duties were reassigned to another employee, police said.
In August 2016, the Plainville Superintendent of Schools Maureen Brummett approached police after an audit revealed several discrepancies in the Board of Education’s accounts including misdirected funds to be used for special education purchases, fake vendors in the system and other issues all traced back to Bourlogiannis, a warrant for her arrest said.
During a meeting with Brummett, and town officials including the finance director, Bourlogiannis said she was told by the BOE’s former business manager to misdirect the special education funds. Some of the items, school officials pointed out, were improperly purchased months after the former business manager retired, the warrant said.
Bourlogiannis is also accused of voiding checks payable to legitimate school vendors and instead reissuing the checks to “Para Constantine,” who she later said she didn’t know and had no explanation for the issuance of the checks. The vendors who should have been paid with the money, were never paid, school officials said.
Bourlogiannis told Brummett a few weeks into the investigation that she was willing to retire and use her severance pay from accumulated sick days, totaling $16,000 to pay back the money issued to “Para Constantine.”
After the superintendent refused, Bourlogiannis admitted that “Para Constantine” was her sister, police said.
The investigation concluded that Bourlogiannis had written $31,607 in checks to “Para Constantine” from March 2013 to December 2015.
Bourlogiannis was served with an arrest warrant Tuesday charging her with first-degree larceny and 10 counts of second-degree forgery. She was released on $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Bristol Superior Court Aug. 21.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.