McClintock High School Bookstore Worker Embezzled Big-Time Bucks, Say Tempe Police


An employee at the McClintock High School bookstore embezzled about $192,000 from the store in a two-year period, Tempe police say.

Rebecca Sue Soto, 49, [above], was arrested this morning at her Tempe home following a lengthy investigation by police.

According to cops, someone saw Soto leave the school on July 30, 2008 "with three to four bags of money." Police tried to contact her then, but she was in Las Vegas and could be reached only by phone. She later told investigators she had deposited the money as her job required -- but cops figured out that was the bookstore's take from May, not July.

An audit by the district found $192,000 missing from the bookstore from July 2006 to July 2008. Soto knew how to spend it as well as take it, police say -- she was discovered to be living well above her means.

"She was spending nearly twice was she was actually making," says Tempe police Sergeant Steve Carbajal.

Police want Soto charged for felony fraud and theft, saying Soto "violated public trust by defrauding citizens of their hard-earned money."

If cops are right about Soto, taxpayers should be outraged.

After all, the price of textbooks these days is a ripoff in and of itself.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.