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St. Thomas More Catholic Academy
St. Thomas More Catholic Academy
St. Thomas More Catholic Academy
St. Thomas More Catholic Academy
St. Thomas More Catholic Academy

Former Catholic school principal gets 30 months in prison for embezzling nearly $175,000 from school fund

Aug. 5, 2022
Bridget Coates, 49, former principal of St. Thomas More Catholic School in Washington, D.C., stole the money from an association that raised money for the school.

The former principal of St. Thomas More Catholic School in Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing nearly $175,000 meant for the school.

Bridget Coates, 49, of Falls Church, Va., spent the money from the school's Home School Association for items such as designer luxury fashion, the U.S. Justice Department says in a news release. 

Coates was the elementary school's principal from 2012 to 2018.

Coates began stealing the money from the association in 2012. Prosecutors say she had access to the account and was allowed to write checks for school-related purposes. 

From 2012 through 2017, Coates wrote about 66 unauthorized checks and deposited at least $175,000 into her personal bank account.

She pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud.

In addition to the prison sentence, Coates must also reimburse the Archdiocese of Washington $175,000.

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