by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - The former director of a Milton school is facing charges she embezzled thousands of dollars.
The Milton Police Department says it charged Lidia Brizuela with felony theft after detectives investigated the allegations.
“A large amount of money had been transferred to a personal account,” said Capt. Charles Barstow.
“Almost $71,000 had been siphoned off from the school and into… the personal account.”
An incident report says Brizuela spent that money on items from Victoria’s Secret and T.J. Maxx, trips to Chicago and Las Vegas and the purchase of a grand piano.
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The owner of Montessori Scholars Academy told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik he believes Brizuela was accepting checks and cash payments from parents at the school and then depositing them in her own accounts.
He said the alleged theft nearly drove him into bankruptcy and forced him to take out a substantial loan to keep the business afloat before the situation came to light.
“I hope she pays for the suffering she caused us,” Mohammad Shokoohi told Petchenik.
Brizuela’s criminal defense attorney told Petchenik his client did nothing wrong.
“We believe this was a retaliation against our client at the time,” said A.J. Richman. “We’re disappointed the Milton Police Department didn’t recognize that issue up front.”
Richman said he’s seen the financial records in question and doesn’t find any irregularities.
“My client is a mother. She’s never been arrested before. She’s in her 40s. This is out of the blue,” Richman said.
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