AUSITN (KXAN) - Austin Police broke-up what they are calling an elaboratesubstituting teaching scheme at a Del Valle ISD Elementaryschool.
The scheme involved a school official who is now accused ofpadding the pockets of relatives.
Christa Garcia, her cousin Talitha Avila, brother Rueben Avilaand a sister Desrio Avila are all charged with felonies.
Police said it was a well thought out plan which netted thesuspects around $13,000 during the school year. The scheme lastednine months starting in September of 2008 and continuing until May2009.
The theft ring was stealing time from unsuspecting teachers, whoeventually got their leave and vacation time back.
It started at Baty Elementary School where Christa Garcia is the“Subfinder Coordinator”.
Garcia started taking leave time from teachers. Policediscovered she would then send in paperwork and credit her familymembers for subbing for the teachers.
"She was like a middle man,” said APD Det. Chris Moore.“What would happen is she would actually put them in for thedays and she would actually send the paperwork over to humanresources for them to actually be paid for those days."
One mistake altered the scheme and got them caught. In May 2009Desori Avila made a call to Baty Elementary requesting pay for workshe had not done.
She did not speak with her sister, who was not working.
"When Christa went on maternity leave, that is when it seems itfell apart.” said Det. Moore. “It seems like greed wasa big aspect . If Desori had never called, this probably would havenever come up."
Del Valle ISD officials were surprised when they discovered thetheft.
“Wow this is truly very involved and low key and it hadn'thappened before and we needed to investigate on all the campuses,"said Marlyse Summer, the executive director for human resources atDel Valle ISD.
Officials have not recovered any of the money stolen from theschool.
"It's taxpayer's money, so it's not the district's money,”said Summer. “The taxpayers in this district work very hardfor their money and they are very proud of their schools."
The actions of a few have resulted in changes in the substituteteaching recording system.
"We've done training and made an extra person responsible oneach campus instead of one or two people," said Summer.
Police have not arrested Desori and Rueben Avila. They believethe siblings may be in another state.
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