School lunch ladies accused of stealing nearly $500K in scam

Posted: Updated:
NEW CANAAN -

Two New Canaan lunch ladies are accusing of stealing nearly $500,000 cash in a scam that investigators say goes back at least five years.

Sisters Joanne Pascarelli, of Stratford, and Marie Wilson, of Wilton, are charged with larceny and defrauding a public community.

The investigation began last year when the New Canaan Board of Education filed a complaint with police over finances at both the Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School cafeterias, where the sisters worked.

Police say the pair may have taken about $478,000 since 2013. Both were arrested over the weekend and released on bond. They have court dates set for later this month.

The New Canaan Public Schools superintendent says the crimes went undetected until 2017, when a new accounting system was put in place.

"We are deeply upset by this alleged violation of our trust and the trust of the entire community, and are committed to continuing our full cooperation with the New Canaan Police Department regarding these allegations," the district said in a statement.

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