FBI Investigating Theft of $500,000 from NY School District
The FBI is investigating the theft of nearly a half million dollars from tiny Duanesburg Central School District in upstate New York, after cyber thieves tried to loot roughly $3.8 million from district online bank accounts last month.
On Friday, Dec. 18, thieves tried to electronically transfer $1.86 million from the district’s account at NBT Bank to an overseas account. The following Monday, the attackers attempted to move another $1.19 million to multiple overseas location. It wasn’t until the next day, when transfers totaling $758,758.70 were flagged by a bank representative as suspicious, that the two previous unauthorized transactions were discovered, school officials said.
As of today, Duanesburg and its bank have succeeded in recovering $2.55 million of the stolen funds, but the school district is still out $497,000.
Audrey Hendricks, a communications specialist with Duanesburg Central, said the thieves tried to steal more than a quarter of the district’s annual budget, which stands at less than $15 million. The district services about 1,000 students kindergarten through 12th grade in a rural area about 30 miles west of Albany.