Teacher’s aide Kevin MaBone told his boss at Wilkinson Middle School in Mesquite that he had cancer and that he’d need to miss a few days this week for surgery.
Instead, MaBone needed to be in a West Virginia courtroom, where he was scheduled to be sentenced on federal charges Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Before he left on Friday, he accepted donations from students and staff, who raised more than $10,000 and even got a local body shop to donate him a car.
“He had us all duped,” Mesquite school district spokeswoman Laura Jobe told the Morning News.
MaBone pleaded guilty in October to misappropriating government funds, according to court records. His sentencing on Tuesday was delayed until Feb. 13.
He admitted to using government credit cards to buy gas for his personal vehicle while working for a job corps program in West Virginia in 2014-15, the Morning News reported.
The charge didn’t pop up on a background check the school district conducted when they hired him in August, school officials told WFAA.
When MaBone announced a cancer diagnosis in December, staff and students decided to raise money to offset medical expenses.
The donations were presented to him on Friday.
Then, on Monday, he called Principal Leslie Feinglas at Wilkinson to tell her he had been cured.
“That was a major red flag,” Feinglas told WFAA.
Officials then found MaBone’s name on a Google search, tying him to the case in West Virginia.
Feinglas on Tuesday was trying to help student and parents get reimbursed if they donated to MaBone through GoFundMe, she told WFAA. School officials believe MaBone drove the donated vehicle, a 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis, to West Virginia.