Former CPS principal charged in fraudulent overtime scheme, accused of taking at least $200K

A former Chicago Public Schools principal has been indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud charges for allegedly scheming to obtain overtime pay, officials said Wednesday. 

Sarah Jackson Abedelal, 57, of Chicago is accused of carrying out the fraud scheme while serving as principal of Brennemann Elementary School on the North Side of Chicago from 2012 to 2019.

Abedelal allegedly told certain school employees that she would authorize overtime pay for hours the employees would not be required to work. 

She then directed the school employees to withdraw the overtime money in cash on the day their paychecks were deposited in their bank accounts, the indictment states.

Abedelal then allegedly met the employees individually in her office or classrooms and collected the money from them.


The indictment states that she then used the fraudulently obtained money to purchase money orders at a currency exchange and then pay personal expenses, which included the mortgage on her home. 

She allegedly told the employees who received the overtime that the money would be used to pay legitimate school expenses. However, Abedelal intended to use the money for her own personal use.

Abedelal reportedly obtained at least $200,000 in CPS money through the scheme and has been charged with ten counts of wire fraud.  

She was arrested Wednesday morning and was scheduled to make her first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.