Former Bruton High School bookkeeper sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement

Jimmy LaRoue

A former Bruton High School bookkeeper was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty of embezzling $144,822 in school funds over a four-year period, according to a news release from the York-Poquoson Commonwealth's Attorney's office.

Charlene Denise Flood-Liggon was sentenced Thursday in York-Poquoson Circuit Court to 26 years in prison, with all but three years suspended, the news release stated. She pleaded guilty Jan. 30 in circuit court to nine counts of embezzlement and 15 counts of forgery.

Flood-Liggon was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the York County School Board, and while the School Board’s insurance company reimbursed the remainder of the stolen money, the insurance company will be able to pursure civil damages against Flood-Liggon, according to the news release.

Bruton principal Arletha Dockery reported suspected embezzlement by Flood-Liggon when she found several years of cash deposits missing from school accounts, records state.

When Flood-Liggon was confronted about missing money in June 2016, she said she had made a mistake, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Krystyn Reid when stating evidence against Flood-Liggon back in January, and was fired soon after.

Bill Bowen, the chief financial officer for the York County School Division, submitted a letter to the court, according to the news release.

“Ms. Flood-Liggon stole from the very students she was there to serve,” Bowen said in the letter. “She went to great lengths to conceal her illegal actions, and in doing so, impacted the potential opportunities for hundreds of students from the classes of 2009 (through) 2015 at Bruton High.”

The fund balance on June 30, 2015 had been $20,693, and currently, that balance is more than $152,000, the letter stated.

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at or on Twitter @jlaroue.

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