Former Boston head of college allegedly misused almost $40,000 of public cash, together with on private holidays


Naia Wilson was the pinnacle of college for New Mission Excessive Faculty, a pilot college in Hyde Park, for 13 years. Over the course of three years, she allegedly used over $38,000 at school cash to pay for holidays for herself and her buddies.

Naia Wilson, the previous head of New Mission Excessive Faculty in Hyde Park, allegedly used almost $40,000 at school funds to pay for holidays for her and her buddies. She is pictured outdoors the varsity in 2016. David Ryan/The Boston Globe

Authorities have charged a former Boston Public Colleges principal with one rely of wire fraud for allegedly misusing almost $40,000 in public cash on issues like all-inclusive private holidays.

Mattapan resident Naia Wilson, 60, served as the pinnacle of college at Hyde Park‘s New Mission Excessive Faculty, an autonomous pilot college inside Boston Public Colleges, from 2006 to 2019, the U.S. Lawyer for Massachusetts mentioned in a press launch Tuesday.

Between September 2016 and Might 2019, Wilson requested checks from the varsity’s account that have been listed as being for different individuals, the discharge mentioned. She then allegedly fraudulently endorsed these checks and deposited the checks into her personal account. The individuals the checks have been for by no means knew of the checks or approved Wilson to deposit them in her personal account.

Wilson used a few of the embezzled $38,806 to pay for 2 all-inclusive holidays to Barbados for herself and her buddies in 2016 and 2018, the discharge mentioned. Each instances, Wilson requested checks payable to different individuals who went on the journeys.

“As an alternative of working truthfully on behalf of her college students, Naia Wilson is accused of abusing her authority and utilizing the varsity’s funds as her personal private slush fund,” FBI Boston Particular Agent Christopher DiMenna mentioned within the launch.

Wilson recorded the fraudulent checks as being for stipends and expense reimbursements, however a few of the individuals the checks have been issued to by no means labored at New Mission, The Boston Globe reported.

Federal prosecutors started investigating Wilson on the identical time that an impartial audit of Boston Public Faculty’s spending flagged New Mission for shoddy recordkeeping, the newspaper wrote.

Superintendent Mary Skipper thanked the U.S. Lawyer’s workplace for its efforts to revive misappropriated funds to Boston college students in an announcement Tuesday.

“The Boston Public Colleges takes its accountability as a steward of public funds very severely,” Skipper mentioned. “…Since these incidents, the Boston Public Colleges has carried out extra inside protocols and procedures to forestall a scenario like this from occurring once more.”

Pilot colleges like New Mission are given most autonomy over their funds and spending. Faculty directors resolve tips on how to spend the cash, ostensibly based mostly on the wants of the varsity.

The faculties’ budgets are comprised of cash allotted by Boston Public Colleges based mostly on the variety of college students every college has. The faculties’ financial institution accounts are managed by an exterior fiscal agent who points checks at an administrator’s request.

Matthew Cahill, government director of the Boston Finance Fee, instructed the Globe the varsity district ought to improve scrutiny of colleges’ spending.

“They need the colleges to have autonomy, however that comes with belief,” he mentioned. “…If you see a breach like this, it actually disintegrates the belief individuals have in authorities, and that’s upsetting to us.”

Wilson left New Mission to function the principal of Randolph Neighborhood Center Faculty, the Globe reported. However by Tuesday night, the center college’s web site listed another person because the principal, and Wilson was not listed wherever on it.

The cost of wire fraud gives for a sentence of as much as 20 years in jail, as much as three years of supervised launch, and a positive of as much as $250,000 or twice the gross achieve or loss, whichever is larger.

However, the Globe reported, Wilson already has a plea cope with prosecutors. If a choose approves the deal, she is going to reportedly serve as much as 90 days in jail, two years of supervised launch, and must pay again solely what she defrauded the varsity.

Wilson’s legal professional, Peter Charles Horstmann, characterised the misuse of public funds as a lapse in judgment to the Globe. He reportedly mentioned Wilson acknowledges what she did was incorrect.

“She pays her victims again and get on together with her life. We hope the sentencing choose will steadiness all her good work at New Mission towards a modest lapse in judgment,” he instructed the Globe.