Montgomery Woman Charged in Houston School Embezzlement

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HOUSTON (AP) - A former secretary in the Houston school district was indicted on a charge of stealing nearly $150,000 from the school system.

A Harris County grand jury indicted Karen J. Keith, of Montgomery, on a charge of theft by a public servant.

If convicted, the former senior secretary at the Houston Independent School District's bond office faces five years to life in prison.

Keith, 50, allegedly used a school computer to create false invoices for a fake vendor called K.R. Lyew Construction Services.

From August 2005 to August 2006, the school system made 11 payments to the bogus company. School district investigators say the checks ended up in Keith's bank account.

Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra says district accountants were the first to ask questions about the payments. They alerted the district's internal investigations department.

The money has not been recovered.

The district says Keith told investigators she needed the money to pay for her son's medical bills.

Keith was fired in October after the school system's investigation.