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4 indictments in North Forest ISD missing funds

Four people were indicted this week in a check fraud scheme that cost the North Forest ISD close to $260,000.

NFISD accounting clerk Valerie Gibson was arrested at the district’s office Tuesday, June 22. She is a 17 year veteran with NFISD. Initially, the district suspended her with pay. Her status changed to suspended without pay indefinitely after she was formally charged Wednesday, June 23, according to NFISD Director of Public Relations, Jacquelyn Tolbert.

Cynthia Bailey was also arrested Tuesday. She is the founder and director of the youth-focused community organization Sure Thing, Inc.

At the district’s regular school board meeting Monday night, the district’s attorney said that anyone who had knowingly accepted money that they knew was stolen from the district would be indicted and that the District Attorney would take all possible measures to ensure that restitution would be made.

During the open forum portion of Monday night’s meeting, Bailey spoke to express her displeasure with the board saying that all but one trustee should be replaced.

Bailey also supported to district’s annexation by the Houston Community College System. “Everybody’s worried about a dollar when it comes to education, but they don’t care when it comes to name brand stuff,” she said.

Louis Lamonte and Laimont Tubbs were also indicted in the fraud.

The district first discovered the missing money on January 14 during a routine bank reconciliation. At first they found a check that was written on November 14, 2003 for $242, 971.75 to a fictitious construction company. The check was cashed at a bank in Las Vegas on December 1, 2003. A second check was then found that was written on July 24, 2003 for $17,000 and cashed July 28 at the same Las Vegas Bank.