Chesterton Tribune



Probation for ex-Valpo Schools worker who stole to cover casino losses

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The former food services office manager for the Valparaiso Community Schools (VCS) has been sentenced to one year of probation, after she admitted appropriating funds from the Food Services Office to cover her gambling losses at the casinos, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Julie A. Schroeder, 52, of Valparaiso, was sentenced last week to 12 months of probation--with 10 of those months on home detention--after pleading guilty to a charge of theft from a program receiving federal funds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to a pre-sentencing memorandum filed by her attorney, between September 2011 and October 2013 Schroeder failed to make deposits on behalf of the Food Services Office in the amount of $37,750.15.

“During the period of her offense, Julie Schroeder began gambling at the casinos in Northwest Indiana with significant losses without her husband(’s) and extended family members’ knowledge, which she hoped she could recover by repetitively returning the casinos,” the memorandum states.

Those gambling losses were the “basis of her unlawful conduct in failing to make a number of Food Service deposits,” the memorandum states.

Schroeder began her position with the Food Service Office in April 2011, six months before she started failing to make the deposits, the memorandum notes.

In January 2014, Schroeder advised the VCS’s Superintendent and the Director of Food Services “of her unlawful conduct,” which she believed would soon be disclosed by the State Board of Accounts’ biannual audit of the VCS, the memorandum states.

In March 2014, Schroeder made full restitution of $37,750.15 from personal savings and her husband’s business credit accounts, the memorandum states.

Schroeder is also undergoing counseling for a gambling addiction and is participating in meetings of Gamblers Anonymous, the memorandum states.

Posted 11/25/2014




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