Caught stuffing school money into her bra and walking out the door, the former accountant of a Rialto school district was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for embezzling public funds.
Judith Oakes pleaded guilty to eight counts of stealing $1.8 million in public funds from the Rilato Unified School District in December.
The 48-year-old former accountant for the district's nutrition services department was arrested Aug. 8, 2013, on suspicion of grand theft, embezzlement and burglary. She resigned a day later.
Surveillance cameras caught her stuffing thousands of school district dollars into her bra and bag on at least two occasions.
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According to her attorney, Oakes is relieved that the trial is over.
Investigators connected her to about $1.8 million in stolen money, but they believe she may have actually taken more than $3 million over her 25-year career.
"Instead of doing her job in an ethical manner, she re-purposed those funds for her own gain," Rialto Police Sgt. David Shephard said.
That money supported a lavish lifestyle — first-class plane tickets, front-row seats at the NCAA Final Four tournament.
"She took very expensive and lavish trips to concerts, sporting events," Rialto Police Capt. Randy de Anda said.
Investigators said Oakes had a monthly credit card bill of $10,000 to $12,000, which she always paid in full with cash.
"She's going to be doing a substantial amount of custody time for somebody who's lived a lavish life," prosecutor Jason Liso said.
With time served, Oakes could be out of jail in two-and-a-half years. She'll try to pay back the money she stole, her defense attorney said.
The district is making sure this doesn't happen again.
"There are a lot of procedural changes that we have already implemented since this had happened," said Syeda Jafri of the Rialto Unified School District.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.