Lunch Lady Arrested After Stealing $1.5 Million Worth of…Chicken Wings??

Of all the things that a person can steal in the world, this has to be one of the craziest things that I’ve ever heard of somebody stealing. A 66-year-old lunch lady from the impoverished Harvey School District 152 in Illinois has been arrested for stealing an estimated $1.5 million worth of chicken wings, which were intended to be served to students during the pandemic while they were required to attend classes remotely.

According to court documents, Vera Liddell had begun her fraudulent activity at a time when school districts continued to provide meals for students whose families could pick them up. She placed orders for 11,000 cases of chicken wings from one of the school district’s vendors, picking up the order herself with a cargo van owned by the district, but never delivering it to the school.

This massive fraud was finally exposed when a routine audit conducted by the district manager revealed that their food costs were $300,000 over budget halfway through the year. Liddell has since been charged with theft and is being held at Cook County jail on a $150,000 bond before her sentencing.

Nobody knows what became of the chicken wings that she had allegedly stolen, however given their estimated cost, this is likely one of the most expensive thefts ever committed in relation to food service in schools throughout Illinois. If I had to venture a guess, I’d bet that she sold most of them to other restaurants while keeping some for herself from time to time.

The magnitude and brazenness of Liddell’s crime are all too apparent given that her actions took place during a time when many low-income families already faced significant financial hardships due to restrictions and lockdowns. Sadly, these stolen funds could have otherwise gone towards providing much needed meals for even more children in need during this period.


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