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Daycare leader charged with embezzling $10K in tuition money

DULUTH -- The former assistant director of a Duluth daycare was booked Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Jail on charges she embezzled roughly $10,000 in tuition funds, authorities said.

College Park resident Stephanie Howard, 41, formerly of Duluth, is charged with felony theft by taking. She posted $5,700 bond and was released Wednesday.

Howard resigned from the Howell Station Academy following accusations that she'd pocketed $10,000 in tuition dues that an internal audit found to be missing, according to a Duluth police report.

Howell Station Academy has provided child care, pre-K programs, afterschool and daycamp programs for 20 years in Duluth, according to the company's website.

The academy's director called police in April to report the missing funds, alleging that Howard was responsible for a string of thefts dating back to August.

Howard falsely recorded that six different accounts were paid by debit, when she had accepted cash and money orders instead, the director told police.

With money orders, Howard advised parents that she would complete them, and then made them out to herself and not the academy, the report states.

Warrants for Howard's arrest were issued last week.