Judith Oakes is accused of stealing $3 million in lunch money from the school district where she worked, with some of the money coming home stuffed inside her bra.
Oakes served as the accountant for the Rialto Unified School District in California, working in the nutrition services department. It was there that police said the 48-year-old was caught stuffing cash into her bra.
Oakes was charged Tuesday with suspected embezzlement.
After finding out about the theft, the school board commissioned a forensic audit that found as much as $3 million was stolen in a little more than a year.
Judith Oakes carried out the largest white collar theft that the Rialto Police Department has ever investigated, authorities said.
“Obviously she had access to large sums of money and she was able to possess those large sums of money and get them out of the building,” said Police Captain Randy De Anda.
The Rialto Unified School District noted that “the district is continuing to work closely with law enforcement to make sure that those criminally responsible are identified and prosecuted. We are taking all appropriate steps to recover the lost funds.”
Police believe she may have been stealing to support a big lifestyle. She and her late husband, Jack Oakes, owned a second home and kept it filled with expensive vehicles, including dune buggies and jet skis. Her husband’s obituary in 2010 noted that the home “has always been ‘event central,’ with the family hosting birthday and anniversary parties, holiday and sports gatherings, and work and school functions — all anchored by Jack’s lavish and creative cooking.”
Police noted that they found thousands of dollars in cash when Judith Oakes was arrested in August. They believe the embezzlement may have been going on for the last seven years.