General Crime

* Sheila Accornero was Charged with Embezzling nearly $400,000 from Kids Street Learning Center in Santa Rosa

Fugitive Watch Logo 77x77px



The finance and business manager of a nonprofit Santa Rosa charter school pleaded guilty today in Sonoma County Superior Court to felony grand theft and forgery charges. Sheila Accornero, 43, of Cloverdale was charged with embezzling nearly $400,000 from the Kids Street Learning Center charter school in Santa Rosa and the school building’s owner, Lincoln Holding Company Inc., Deputy District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi said. She was charged with two grand theft charges, five forgery charges and one count of illegal possession of prescription drugs. She pleaded guilty to one forgery charge, one grand theft charge and to possession of a controlled substance.

The prosecution is recommending she be sentenced Feb. 28 to five years and eight months in prison and has agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. The prosecution also is recommending Accornero pay $396,633.87 in restitution. Accornero is being held in the Sonoma County jail without bail for violating her probation for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in February 2008. Ariyoshi said the theft and forgery occurred between December 2008 and Aug. 9, 2011 when Accornero was interviewed and arrested.

Accornero was hired by the school at 709 Davis St. in Santa Rosa in 2005, Ariyoshi said. Accornero allegedly took $389,477.84 from the charter school and $7,156.03 from Lincoln Holding Company Inc., Ariyoshi said. On its website, the Kids Street Learning Center lists its mission as providing children and families living in extreme crisis a caring, supportive educational community to call home. The school fosters a “hands-on, real world self initiated education,” according to the website.

Larae Archibald, an investigator with the Sonoma County District attorney’s Office, said she received information about “suspicious financial activity” from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which tracks suspicious financial transactions. “I dug deeper and got bank records and it (the alleged embezzlement) appeared obvious to me,” Archibald said outside the courtroom this afternoon.

The school’s administrators were unaware of the missing money until detectives contacted them in August, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Mike Lazzarini said. “She wrote checks to herself, cashed them and spent them all on prescription drugs,” Lazzarini said. “Some of the checks totaled $20,000 to $30,000 a month. There were a lot of transactions,” Lazzarini said.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
Please call the Fugitive Watch hot line at 1-800-9-CAUGHT (1-800-922-8448) or text us at 408-355-0999 or CLICK HERE to send a confidential email tip, if you have any information that can help solve this crime.

Por favor llame la línea de Los Fugitivos en 1-800-9-CAUGHT (1-800-922-8448) o texto en 408-355-0999 o haga clic aquí para enviar un email a [email protected], si usted tiene alguna información que pueda ayudar a resolver este crimen.

Comment Advisement We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.

Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons