Contact: Beth Stone- (508) 584-8120
BROCKTON – A Norton woman has pleaded guilty to charges she stole $86,000 from Derby Academy in Hingham while she was employed as a business manager there, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
Lyn M. Mitchell (DOB: 12/29/65) of Norton, pleaded guilty today to three counts of Larceny over $250 by Common Plan or Scheme. Brockton Superior Court Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty placed Mitchell on probation for two years and ordered her to pay restitution of $10,500, the balance of funds not recovered by Derby Academy. The Commonwealth had requested that Mitchell be sentenced to two years in the House of Corrections, with one year to serve and the balance suspended for five years and payment of restitution.
Since 1997, Mitchell was employed at Derby Academy. From January 2012 through December 2013, Mitchell worked as both the Assistant Business Manager and Business Manager. Part of her responsibilities included making the school’s deposits from all revenue streams, such as tuition and fundraising. Mitchell was required to simultaneously record deposits on a spreadsheet and again on the school’s general ledger.
A staffer at Derby Academy noticed the thefts when there were apparent personal charges on the school credit card and alerted school officials who hired an independent auditing firm and consultant. Derby’s extensive audit and investigation of the records found that Mitchell had stolen approximately $86,000 in total from the school from 2012-2013. Approximately $65,000 of that was in cash and the rest was from the school credit card.
The investigation found that Mitchell achieved this by stealing personal loans and cash advances to purchase computers, currency and improperly using the Derby Academy credit card without paying the sums back.
A representative from Derby Academy told the court today that some of the money taken was from school tuition payments and another portion was fundraised by students for organizations like The One Fund, and others, including charities supporting the fight against cancer and hunger.
Assistant District Attorneys Russell Eonas and Caitlin McDermott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Hingham Police and Detective Phillip Tracy.