TUCSON (Wednesday, February 5, 2013) -- A husband and wife have been indicted on multiple charges of fraudulent schemes and theft from a Tucson-area school that serves career and technical education students, Attorney General Tom Horne announced today. The indictment names Melinda Carpio and Enrique Carpio.
“This is a very serious matter,” Horne said. “The Pima County JTED serves hundreds of students who rely on the school for outstanding career and technical education programs. It is very disturbing to think that taxpayer dollars that were intended for educational needs may have been misused, and my office will vigorously prosecute this matter.’
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Mr. and Mrs. Carpio after receiving a report from the Chief Financial Officer of Joint Technical Education District (JTED), where Mrs. Carpio was employed as the Accounting Services Manager. The CFO of JTED, in preparing the annual report, noted a discrepancy between a JTED expenditure and the accompanying vendor payment. An internal audit was conducted in which multiple inconsistencies were discovered. Further investigation revealed that, over the course of three years, Mrs. Carpio had allegedly directed payments to Mr. Carpio, under the guise of a variety of fictitious vendors. Upon reviewing bank records obtained during the investigation, detectives confirmed that approximately $300,000.00, allegedly embezzled from JTED, was deposited into Mr. and Mrs. Carpio’s shared bank account. Mrs. Carpio was terminated from her employment and the case was referred to Assistant Attorney General Michael Jette for prosecution.
JTED is a Pima County based public high school district providing free career and technical education to all sophomore, junior, and senior level high school students in Pima County to give them a head start on college and careers. JTED serves students from public, private, and charter schools, students who are home-schooled, as well as students who either have, or who are in the process of earning, a GED.
Mr. and Mrs. Carpio have been charged with four counts of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, class 2 felonies; two counts of Theft, class 2 felonies; and 2 counts of Theft, class 3 felonies.
These charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.