Updated: Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013, 1:33 PM EST
Published : Monday, 28 Jan 2013, 7:20 AM EST
DEPEW (WIVB) - She betrayed the trust of her students, parents and colleagues. Monday, a former elementary school teacher is due in court to learn her fate for using school money to fund her gambling habit.
Susan Jablonski could spend the next four years behind bars. A judge will weigh the consequences after she stole nearly $20,000.
Jablonski was expected to appear in front of Judge Thomas Franczyk, with $17,000 in hand.
It's payback from money she stole from the Cayuga Heights Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.
"You know, $17,000, it takes a while to accumulate that from the sale of brownies and chocolate chip cookies. And that's basically what she was doing. Taking the money from the bake sales," said Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita.
Sedita says that money was withdrawn using the PTO's debit card. It was stolen over a two year period, between 2008 and 2010.
"We see this situation again, and again and again. The person entrusted with the money is the one embezzling because there is no one looking over his or her shoulder," Sedita said.
Jablonski used the money was used at the casino. It was a gamble gone wrong. The PTO president got suspicious and went to police.
"Any amount of money is significant. $17,000 is very significant. And when that's paid back, it will go directly to students," said Depew Union Free Superintendent Jeffery Rabey.
Rabey says the $17,000 is about half of what the PTO raises in one year. It was enough to pay for at least two year's worth of field trips for the students.
Rabey says this case is anything but normal for them.
"It was just one individual. It was not the system, it was not the parent-teacher organization in general," said Rabey.
It was just one individual, trusted with our children. She's now about to learn a very tough lesson.
Jablonski pleaded guilty to third degree attempted grand larceny back in October.