Monterey School Districts to Receive Hundreds of Thousands in Restitution From Disgraced Charity Founder
Several LEAs and a local nonprofit will receive restitution totaling $327,991.86 from the founder of a special education nonprofit who is serving four years in prison for embezzlement, tax evasion, and theft.
Central Coast Kids & Families was set up to provide special education aides to classrooms and respite services for families of special needs children. But a two-and-a-half-year investigation would later reveal that former founder and executive director Lolita Garcia used the charity as a personal piggy bank to fund her lavish lifestyle.
"So often in theft and embezzlement cases, there are no assets available to satisfy restitution obligations," said District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni. "Here, we were able to recover substantial assets at the outset of the case to satisfy a large portion of restitution due to these public agencies that are providing critical services to children and parents in our community.”
The DA was able to secure the funds from the seizure of Garcia’s personal bank and investment accounts, a Rolex watch and Louis Vuitton handbags, and several cars, including a Porsche, Maserati, and Land Rover.
The funds will be dispersed as follows:
· Pacific Grove Unified - $105,045
· Carmel Unified - $5,414
· North Monterey County Unified - $8,353
· Salinas City Elementary School District - $2,427
· Monterey County Office of Education - $15,758
· Greenfield Union - $245
· Monterey County's Special Education Local Area Plan $17,610
· Nonprofit San Andreas Regional Center - $76,721.62
· California Franchise Tax Board - $96,417.52
$458,135 in restitution is outstanding.