Bail was set at half a million dollars Tuesday for a Pennsylvania woman who embezzled $574,000 to feed an addiction to video poker.
According to media reports, Carol Ackley, 57, who was the payroll coordinator for the Ridley School District in suburban Philadelphia, used a complicated financial scheme to steal almost $100,000 a year for the past six years from the school district.
She used the ill-gotten booty to finance gambling trips to Las Vegas and elsewhere so she could play video poker, the reports said.
“Video poker is the crack cocaine of compulsive gambling,” Ackley’s attorney, Kevin Mark Wray, told the media after her court appearance.
“She’s a sick person,” he said.
“She needs help. She needs treatment.” =A0 According to media reports, police allege that in late 2001, Ackley began withdrawing checks from the school district’s pensioners’ hospitalization account, which appeared to be dormant because the balance remained the same. In actuality, the reports said, Ackley was withdrawing money from the account at the same time she was depositing into it, making it possible for her to embezzle district funds without anyone noticing.
But the scam eventually collapsed, and she was caught, the reports said.
Unable to immediately post the $500,000 bail set by the court, Ackley was returned to prison, where she has been since her arrest last month.
“Ackely fits the classic criminal profile for an embezzler,” a police source told www.PokerHelper.com. “A middle-aged, white woman with little or no formal education who is overweight.”
(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected]) =A0