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Toltec Elementary School District—Criminal Indictment—Fraudulent Schemes, Conflict of Interest, Misuse of Public Monies, and Theft


The Arizona Attorney General’s office requested our assistance with investigating whether Toltec Elementary School District (District) employees misappropriated public monies. Our investigation revealed that from July 2014 through June 2016, former employees Dr. Jeffrey Van Handel, superintendent, and Ms. Eileen Crumbaker, director of business services, who were also governing board members of the nonprofit organization, World School Foundation, Inc. (WSF), secretly used their respective personal monies of $380,845 and $81,549 to fraudulently inflate their Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) pension benefits. Specifically, they each concealed from the District and WSF that they were using their personal monies to fund an agreement between the District and WSF that fraudulently increased their District compensation and thereby their corresponding ASRS pension benefits. They continued this scheme with a later agreement between the District and WSF that benefited only Dr. Van Handel. Despite his conflict of interest, Dr. Van Handel worked to establish both agreements. Similarly, Dr. Van Handel and Ms. Crumbaker may have received unlawful loans of public monies when on 60 occasions they used District monies totaling $253,983 to advance themselves this fraudulent compensation 33 to 234 days before depositing the agreements’ corresponding monies in a District bank account. Finally, Dr. Van Handel and Ms. Crumbaker failed to pay $26,618 of the agreements’ monies owed to the District. Their actions resulted in liabilities against the District and WSF totaling approximately $1.5 million. We submitted our report to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which on May 2, 2022, presented evidence to the State Grand Jury. The action resulted in Dr. Van Handel and Ms. Crumbaker each being indicted on 3 felony counts related to fraudulent schemes, misuse of public monies, and theft, and Dr. Van Handel being indicted on 2 additional felony counts related to theft and conflict of interest.