Virginia Novoa accused of stealing $93K from the Gardens Learning Center in Palm Beach Gardens

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - The former business director of a private preschool in Palm Beach Gardens was arrested on charges that she defrauded the facility out of $93,000 over a two-year period.

The Palm Beach Gardens police said that Virginia Novoa had worked at the Gardens Learning Center since 2007 and in 2009 became the director.

The owners of the center told police that while Novoa ran the center there were students enrolled who were not accounted for on the books in relation to the payment of tuition.

Police said that the so-called "ghost" students' tuition was being paid in cash directly to Novoa.

Employees, according to police, complained of students attending classes whose names were not on their rosters or they were handwritten and not typed like the other students.

Parents told investigators they had written checks to Novoa who applied the money to the tuition of the students whose parents had paid in cash.

Police said that from May 2010 to June 2012 Novoa misappropriated more than $93,000 from the center.

Novoa was arrested by Palm Beach Gardens police and charged with organized scheme to defraud and making false entries on the books of a corporation.

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