Their next gig might be serving up bologna sandwiches behind bars.
A pair of lunch ladies in one of Connecticut’s richest towns skimmed nearly half a million dollars from the cafeteria till in five years — and cops believe they were looting the schools for even longer, officials said.
When they weren’t slinging tater tots at Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School, respectively, sisters Joanne Pascarelli and Marie Wilson swiped $478,588 between 2012 and 2017, according to cops.
Cafeteria cashiers told cops that the duo, who oversaw the lunchrooms at the schools, ordered them not to tally each day’s take in the register, and instead let them count up and log the funds.
The sisters would then underreport the earnings and pocket the difference, cops charge.
But they siphoned off so much that the logs for some registers showed no cash at all for each of the 180-day school years, cops said.
The heist — uncovered by school officials probing an unrelated accounting discrepancy — may actually run as far back as 15 years, but the sisters were only charged for five due to the statute of limitations, police said.
Around the same time the school found an accounting issue, a fellow cafeteria worker came to the New Canaan Board of Education to accuse Wilson, then the “assistant food director” at NCHS, and Pascarelli, head of the Saxe Middle School cafeteria, of having sticky fingers, according to Pascarelli’s arrest warrant.
The worker is not named in the paperwork.
The Board of Education asked local cops to investigate the bookkeeping irregularities, and after roughly 20 interviews and consultation with a forensic accountant, the trail led to the sisters, authorities said.
Pascarelli, 61, and Wilson, 67, both hung up their aprons and resigned in December 2017 when the Board of Education told them they were under investigation.
“I never took a dollar,” said Wilson in one of several interviews with cops. “I never took anything from anybody.”
In one of her own sit-downs with investigators, Pascarelli claimed, “I would never take money. I know better than that.”
Police didn’t buy it and obtained arrest warrants for the pair.
They surrendered to cops over the weekend.
They’re both charged with larceny, and were released on $50,000 bail apiece.
“There is much more to this story. Marie is innocent and did not personally divert a single nickel of town money for personal gain,” Wilson’s attorney Mark Sherman, told The New Haven Register.
“She is not going to be scapegoated for the missing money.”
It wasn’t immediately clear who was representing Pascarelli.
The head of public schools in New Canaan — where the median home price is $1.5 million according to Zillow — said in a statement that the thefts were from a food-specific fund distinct from the district’s day-to-day coffers.
“We are deeply upset by this alleged violation of our trust and the trust of the entire community,” said Superintendent Bryan Luizzi. “The alleged crimes involve a specific fund, the cafeteria fund, which is separate from the district’s operating budget.”
There was no answer Monday at Pascarelli’s Stratford home.
No one came to the door at Wilson’s house in Wilton, but shortly after a Post reporter knocked on the door, a local police officer arrived and said that someone inside the home had called to complain.