CLEVELAND – Colleen Kempf of Olmsted Falls has been charged with stealing $525,000 from St. Joseph Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cleveland where she worked until last fall.
Kempf, 46, was charged with one count of theft and arraigned May 15 before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Joseph D. Russo.
Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis, St. Joseph Academy president, said the charges came about after the school’s director of finance, Moira McGreer, discovered irregularities in financial records last fall. The school immediately called in fraud examiners who worked with school officials.
During the investigation Kempf admitted altering the ledgers, but at the time of arraignment it was not known whether she would face trial or reach a plea agreement. If found guilty, she could face up to five years in prison.
St. Joseph Academy, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1890, has 660 students.
Kempf graduated from the academy in 1978 and sent her own daughters there as well.
She worked as a bookkeeper and performed other duties in the school’s finance office for 13 years before she was terminated last fall when the falsified records were discovered.
The theft occurred from a fundraising account that used gift cards.
Investigators found records falsified from 2001 through last year.