Former school district employee sentenced for embezzling $50K

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Danya Margarita Williams pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $50,000 from the Sweetwater Union High School District

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A former employee of the Sweetwater Union High School District who siphoned more than $50,000 from the district was sentenced Wednesday to a year of house arrest, three years of probation, and was ordered to repay the school district.

Danya Margarita Williams of Chula Vista, 42, pleaded guilty in May to an embezzlement charge for taking money paid by prospective employees through job application fees.

In addition to house arrest and probation, Williams was ordered to pay back $56,988 to the school district. Another embezzlement count and a grand theft count were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

As part of her job, Williams was responsible for processing money orders received for fingerprint background investigations at the district, which are required during employment screenings, according to Chula Vista Police Capt. Phil Collum.

Each background investigation costs between $52 to $75 per applicant, and the applicants pay the fee using money orders, he said.

“Instead of processing the money in accordance with district requirements, Williams deposited the money into her personal bank account,” Collum said.

District officials discovered the embezzlement — which occurred between June 2016 and December 2017 — and reported it to police, he said. Williams was arrested and charged in March.

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