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Wilson Elementary School District—Criminal Indictment—Theft, Fraudulent Schemes, Forgery, and Misuse of Public Monies


As part of their responsibility to prevent and detect fraud, Wilson Elementary School District (District) officials took appropriate action by reporting to us fraud allegations of financial misconduct by former budget accounting specialists Ryan Mariano and April Childs. Our investigation revealed that from August 2018 through March 2019, Mr. Mariano may have embezzled $27,582, and in January 2020, Ms. Childs may have embezzled $5,000 when they issued themselves unauthorized District checks with forged signatures. We have submitted our report to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which on July 11, 2022, presented evidence to the State Grand Jury. The action resulted in Mr. Mariano and Ms. Childs each being indicted on 5 felony counts related to theft, fraudulent schemes, and forgery. Mr. Mariano was also indicted on 1 felony count of misuse of public money.