Chicago Public Schools

Former CPS Principal Indicted on Fraud Charges in Alleged Scheme to Get Overtime Pay

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A former Chicago Public Schools principle was indicted on fraud charges Wednesday for allegedly scheming to falsely obtain overtime pay, according to officials.

Sarah Jackson Abedelal was charged in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, which said she allegedly carried out a fraud scheme from 2018 to 2019 while serving as principle of Joseph Brennemann Elementary School in the city's Uptown neighborhood.

"Abedelal told certain school employees that she would authorize overtime pay for hours the employees would not be required to work, and she directed them to then deliver the proceeds of the unearned overtime to Abedelal or another individual, the indictment states," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois said in a statement.

According to the attorney's office, Abedelal allegedly told employees who received overtime that the money would go towards school expenses, though the indictment claims she intended to use the cash for her own personal use, including on her home's mortgage.

The 10-count indictment alleges that the fraud scheme brought Abedelal at least $200,000 in CPS money.

The 57-year-old was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with 10 counts of wire fraud. She is set to make her first court appearance at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, according to the attorney's office.

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