Audit of School District Finds Possible Fraud or Misappropriation

A state audit of the San Ysidro School District found that two former school district administrators who abruptly resigned last year overpaid themselves a combined sum of more than $300,000 and received reimbursements for questionable expenses paid with personal credit cards.

The report indicates collusion between former Superintendent Julio Fonseca and former Deputy Superintendent Arturo Sanchez-Macias. Both men worked at the district for about two years, before their sudden departures.

The report concluded there was “sufficient evidence to demonstrate that fraud, misappropriation of funds or other illegal fiscal activities may have occurred in the specific areas reviews.”

Fonseca, who was paid at least $282,000 in annual salary and benefits, resigned in September and received approximately $375,000 in severance pay. According to the audit, he was overpaid approximately $162,600, including almost $56,000 in improper vacation payouts and $107,000 in improper term life insurance payouts.

The report said Sanchez-Macias received excess pay of $161,300, including $47,380 in improper vacation pay, $100,000 in term life insurance cash payouts, and overpayment of $14,100 in salary.

In addition to the payouts, the two men improperly billed the district for expenses, often without approval and the necessary documentation, the audit found.

“The findings should be of great concern to the San Ysidro School District and the San Diego County Office of Education and require immediate intervention to limit the risk of fraud, mismanagement and/or misappropriation of assets, or other illegal fiscal activities, in the future,” the report stated. (Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, June 14.)


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