Broward elementary school bookkeeper accused of stealing thousands of dollars to pay for groceries, cigarettes

Police: Dina Newland, 54, worked at school for 18 years

Dina Newland, 54, is accused of stealing nearly $20,000 from Margate Elementary School. (Broward Sheriff's Office)

MARGATE, Fla. – A 54-year-old bookkeeper was arrested last week on accusations that she stole thousands of dollars from an elementary school in Broward County where she worked.

Dina Newland, 54, of Coral Springs, was taken into custody Dec. 7.

According to her arrest report, the investigation began in July when school officials at Margate Elementary School became concerned when they discovered the school’s bank account at Wells Fargo had a negative balance.

Margate police said school officials questioned Newland since she was the school bookkeeper and then notified Broward District Schools Police to conduct an internal investigation into the matter.

Police said Newland was reassigned within the district during the ongoing internal and criminal investigations.

Detectives and auditors eventually discovered that nearly $20,000 was missing from the 2021-2022 school year, authorities said.

According to the arrest report, all of the missing money were cash payments that had been made during Scholastic Book Fairs and that were inside “Monies Collection Envelopes” for school events.

Police said Newland had worked at the school for 18 years and had access to all financial amenities attributed to the school.

According to the arrest report, she confessed to stealing the money, saying she used it to pay for groceries, gas and cigarettes.

“Newland indicated that she took the funds with the intent to pay the monies back and admitted to violating school board money collection policies,” the arrest report stated.

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