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Monday, August 16, 2010

Former Employee Sentenced 15 Months for Stealing $279,000 from Thomas Jefferson High School

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Susan Thanh Litwin, 37, of Woodbridge, Virginia was sentenced today to 15 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing more than $279,000 from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHS), a Fairfax County magnet school.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.

“Susan Litwin betrayed the trust of those who relied on her the most: the students, faculty, and fellow administrators at TJHS,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Today’s sentence should warn others that we will hold accountable those who breach the public trust.”

On May 6, 2010, Litwin pled guilty to theft from an organization receiving public funds. According to a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Litwin served as a finance technician for TJHS from January 2007 to March 2, 2010, and was responsible for receiving and depositing funds from various sources. These funds were used, in part, to support student athletics, classes, clubs, and other school activities. Litwin admitted she used the signature authority TJHS had given her to steal funds by writing checks to herself without authorization and by making counter-withdrawals from various TJHS bank accounts and depositing the funds into her personal bank accounts. From about March 2008 through January 2010, Litwin acknowledged that she stole more than $279,000 through checks or withdrawals ranging from $2,500 to $35,000.

Further court records indicate that in an interview, Litwin told law enforcement that the money was used to support a gambling habit that included trips to Las Vegas, Nev., and Atlantic City, N.J. She also stated that the theft was a result of extensive credit card debt and large mortgage payments on her home.

Authorities request that anyone with similar allegations of fraud or corruption to call the FBI’s Northern Virginia Public Corruption and Government Fraud Tip Line at (703) 686-6225 or send an e-mail to: nova.corruption@ic.fbi.gov.

This case is being investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office and the Fairfax County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Mark D. Lytle is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

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