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Former employee sent to jail for stealing from Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

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Former employee sent to jail for stealing from Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

By McKenzie Romero | Posted - Mar. 1, 2017 at 7:49 a.m.

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OGDEN — A former financial analyst for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind was ordered Tuesday to serve 30 days in jail for stealing thousands of dollars from the program.

Leslie Sue White, 45, will serve 30 days in jail followed by 60 days in a restitution program. She pleaded guilty last month to a single count of unlawful use of a financial transaction, a second-degree felony.

White must pay $67,000 in restitution as part of the agreement.

In exchange for her plea, additional charges of communication fraud and unlawful use of a financial transaction, second-degree felonies, and one count of theft, a third-degree felony, were dismissed.

Prosecutors also agreed to recommend no prison time for White and, if she successfully completes probation and pays all restitution, allowed for the charge to be reduced to a class A misdemeanor.

White was accused of stealing more than $67,000 from school accounts dating back to 2011. While the fraud was outlined in a report released by the Office of the Utah State Auditor last July, White was named publicly for the first time when charges were filed in September.

White allegedly spent $6,674 in unapproved funds at Sam's Club on gift cards, $5,464 for electronics, $1,393 on gasoline and $657 for cigarettes. She is also accused of fraudulently spending about $20,000 at Smith's, with roughly half of that amount going toward prepaid credit cards or gift cards.

The audit into Utah Schools For the Deaf and Blind concluded that White purchased groceries, holiday gifts, clothes, pet supplies and decorations through the use of the office's taxpayer and donated funds. All of White's fraudulent transactions were put to "personal use," according to court documents.

Some payments on behalf of the office were not made in time, resulting in a little more than $1,500 in late fees, the audit also concluded.


Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind officials received a report about account balances each month, prepared by White. Charges say she doctored the reports to cover up fraud.

At the time of the audit, Utah State Auditor John Dougall said White had worked for the Utah State Office of Education in some capacity for 17 years. Dougall did not use White's name at the time.

A new employee at the school had found evidence of the financial fraud and reported it, which led to the office to request the help of the state auditor, according to Joel Coleman, superintendent for the Schools for the Deaf and Blind.

Coleman said White was fired when the fraud was discovered.


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