Former New Canaan Schools Food Service Director Latest Charged In $478,588 Embezzlement Case

A former New Canaan Schools food service director is the latest to be arrested in connection with a lunch embezzlement scheme that cost the school district almost a half million dollars in profits.

Bruce Gluck
Bruce Gluck Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department
Joanne Pascarelli of Stratford
Joanne Pascarelli of Stratford Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department
Marie Wilson of Wilton
Marie Wilson of Wilton Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department

Bruce Gluck, 61, of Middletown Springs, Vermont, was arrested on Monday, April 29, by New Canaan Police for allegedly stealing funds from the Saxe Middle School cafeteria and the New Canaan High School cafeteria, said Lt. Jason Ferraro.

Two other suspects, sisters Joanne Pascarelli, 61, of Stratford and Marie Wilson, 67, of Wilton, were arrested last year for allegedly stealing $478,588 between 2012 and 2017, according to police. 

Following their arrest, New Canaan police continued their forensic investigation into the thefts and as a result found that Gluck was allegedly involved in the scheme, Ferraro said.

The incident came to light on December 21, 2017, when the New Canaan Board of Education filed a complaint with the New Canaan Police Investigative Section after financial discrepancies were discovered, police said.

Detectives from the New Canaan Police Department Investigation section embarked on a lengthy and involved investigation into the complaints reported at both schools, Ferraro said.

Investigators monitored both cafeteria operations and interviewed multiple cafeteria workers over the course of several months that included and an extensive examination of financial records.

The investigation found that for a five-year period from 2012 to 2017, about $478,588 in cash was stolen from lunch funds. 

Police said that while the theft may have been going on for years prior to 2012, police focused on the five year period due to direction by the state's attorney office because of statutes of limitations.

Ferraro said that Gluck became another suspect as their investigation expanded and found that he allegedly made large cash deposits during the same time period.

"The overwhelming majority of these deposits were made during the school year and tapered off markedly when school was not in session," police said. "Continuing the established pattern, upon Gluck’s retirement, daily money intake totals increased dramatically." 

The investigation showed that Gluck conspired with Pascarelli and Wilson to steal Town monies, Ferraro said.

He was charged with larceny by defrauding the public, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, and tampering with physical evidence 

Gluck was held on $50,000 bond and transported to Norwalk Superior Court. He was later released on a $25,000 surety bond. 

Both sisters are free on $50,000 bail apiece after pleading not guilty to charges of theft and defrauding a public community. 

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