Former CPS principal federally charged in overtime fraud scheme

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — A former Chicago Public Schools principal has been indicted for allegedly taking part in a scheme to fraudulently obtain overtime pay.

The ten-count indictment alleges Sarah Jackson Abedelal, 57, of Chicago, told certain school employees that she would authorize overtime pay for hours the employees would not be required to work. She then allegedly directed them to then deliver the proceeds of the unearned overtime to her or another person.

The former principal of Brennemann Elementary School, located in Buena Park, allegedly told the employees the money would be used to pay legitimate school expenses. The indictment states Abedelal intended to convert the money to her own personal use.

The charges allege that Abedelal fraudulently obtained at least $200,000 in CPS money through the scheme.

To conceal and prevent detection, Abedelal allegedly used the fraudulently obtained money to purchase money orders at a currency exchange and then pay her personal expenses, including the mortgage on her home, the indictment states.

She was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with ten counts of wire fraud. Each of the 10 counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Abedelal had received recognition for a job well done as a principal at the school before she was forced to resign back in 2019. The FBI arrested her at her home Wednesday morning.

Abedelal has been freed on bond.

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