Former NW Indiana school official admits theft

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Court records show the former business manager of a northwestern Indiana school district will plead guilty to theft and income tax evasion for embezzling money.

Forty-one-year-old James Huddleston of DeMotte admits in a plea agreement filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond that he took $134,000 from the Lake Ridge Schools between January 2012 and April 2013.

The Post-Tribune reports audits revealed Huddleston used the money to pay various personal bills. The audits came shortly after the Gary-based district decided to close an elementary school because of a $1.7 million budget deficit.

A change of plea hearing is set for May 6. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will ask that he serve the minimum term recommended under federal sentencing guidelines.

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