Woman Arrested for Embezzling Money from School

Money was missing from a safe at Milpitas High.

Milpitas Police arrested a woman Wednesday for allegedly stealing money from a safe at Milpitas High School.

Mae Laureta Gardina, 60, of Milpitas was arrested about 12:51 p.m. Wednesday at her home after school officials in September reported a large amount of money missing from a safe, police reported today.

Police asked school officials for a list of everyone with access to the safe, as well as the school's accounting practices, according to police reports. Gardina was charged with grand theft and booked in Santa Clara County jail. 

Anyone with information about the case should call Milpitas Police at 408-586-2400, report it anonymously at 408-586-2500, or submit it online here

Cindy Lee January 27, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Wow, that's too bad that it happened to the school especially when students & staff work so hard at fundraising.
Gerlyn January 27, 2012 at 06:17 PM
You can never trust anyone this days...especially when it comes to money...
BJ Navarro January 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM
What the heck - I hurt for her son and other family members to have this reported. So many people know each other in Milpitas. WHY???
Norm January 29, 2012 at 01:13 AM
You got that right. People steal from PTA funds, Salvation Army kettles, Girl Scout cookie sales, money being raised for needy causes. I worked at a place where $400K was embezzled. It's just troubling.
Sifu Paddler January 29, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Media has a responsibility to report news. As with this case. There was an embezzlement. An investigation by the school and authorities. A suspect in custody. Now the person in custody is entitled to their day in court. We have a right to due process and even though it doesn't seem like it, you are innocent until proven guilty. That said, its unfair for the Milpitas Patch to hold a 'court of public' opinon by inviting people to share their reaction. Even more so to include the suspect's name in the tags within 'Related Topics' section. We live in a digital age where news is litterally reported within seconds. As a result, we have lost our perspective and conditioned ourselves to be reactionary. That's really bad because we've begun to lose the apprection of reflection and thus wanting to give an opinion without the benefit of thought or doubt.
scott January 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Based on other articles I've read, I still don't think there's enough evidence to point all the blame on her. I still believe such a scheme might contain more individuals. It's probably easier for the Milpitas Unified School District and Police Department to point fingers at a 60-year-old Filipina woman. A case like this, they need someone to take the blame. Assistant Principle Sheryl Jordan said on the Mercury News "We feel very confident it was just an isolated incident with one person."
Norm January 30, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I would hope the MPD has adequate evidence before busting someone. And yes, we all know Innocent Until Proven Guilty.
Marie January 30, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Scott - What does her age and nationality have to do with it?
Marie January 30, 2012 at 07:27 PM
"It's probably easier for the Milpitas Unified School District and Police Department to point fingers at a 60-year-old Filipina woman.".................eaisier than what? Guilt or innocence comes in all shapes sizes and colors Scott. I don't get your meaning on this sentence at all. Maybe there are others involved? But I'm sure if there were, the police would be arresting them too.
Ann January 31, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Obviosly they have done there hw on the matter considering they found the money missing in the summer time. What makes her look more guilty is that she quit her job when news ofthe problem was let out. Her age and nationality has nothing to do with it, a little over a year ago a male musd employee was arrested for embezzlement and funny thing, his name was Scott!
scott January 31, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Remember, she's locked up for allegations: an assertion made with little or no proof.
Jennifer van der Kleut January 31, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Scott - if she's locked up, it's impossible there's "little or no proof." The police have to get a warrant before arresting her, and to get that warrant they have to present sufficient evidence to a judge or district attorney. Police can't just arrest anyone they like. Keep in mind, the media is only given a small amount of information - there's likely a lot more proof and evidence than Milpitas Patch or any other outlet knows at this time because, if or until she's found guilty, the case is still open, so they can't release everything.
beg bdgid nwldx February 01, 2012 at 06:40 AM
"arrested a woman Wednesday for ALLEGEDLY stealing money" "Anyone with information about the case SHOULD CALL Milpitas Police" Its rare to find an unbiased report in the media, sadly this isn't one of them. Its also sad to see the police asking the public for info after making an arrest. Combine the fact that there are a lot of students and other people who don't like this woman, creates that feeling that they only arrested her because of the amount of people who dislike her (didn't know she was disliked? you should ask student).


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