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updated: 1/4/2014 5:31 PM

Ex-Chicago school employee accused of embezzlement

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Associated Press

A watchdog is accusing a former Chicago public high school employee of embezzling nearly $420,000 in a fraudulent billing scheme involving fictitious vendors.

The allegation is part of an annual report by the school district's inspector general, James Sullivan.

The report doesn't identify the former employee or the high school where he worked as a technology coordinator.

Chicago Public Schools said in a statement it "takes seriously any abuse of school resources and has created rigorous safeguards in its procurement process."

The inspector general's report says that during its investigation the technology coordinator resigned, withdrew $70,000 from a personal bank account, traveled to California and was found dead in Tijuana, Mexico.

The employee allegedly issued fraudulent payments to nine purported vendors, directing most of the money to his own account.

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