Teacher's aide feigned cancer to get out of work for court date, officials say

A Dallas-area teacher's aide lied to his employer about having cancer to get time off for a court hearing in West Virginia after he admitted to misusing government funds, school officials said.

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Wilkinson Middle School principal Leslie Feinglas told the Dallas Morning News that she became suspicious Monday when she called to check on 56-year-old Kevin MaBone, a teacher's aide who took the beginning of the week off for a surgery, only to learn that his cancer was gone.

"He told Feinglas he was going to have an operation to remove a growth and still needed the time off anyway," the Morning News reported.

With her suspicions in mind, Feinglas looked MaBone up on the internet and learned he was scheduled to be in court in West Virginia on Tuesday.

Records show MaBone pleaded guilty in October to misappropriating government funds while working as director of social development for the Charleston Job Corps Center in 2014 and 2015. Federal prosecutors said he used government credit cards to fill up the tank on his personal vehicle, a practice he first picked up while working at the Miami Job Corps Center in Florida from 2007 to 2012. He admitted to stealing at least $6,600 from the government over the years.

He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, although the Morning News reported his court date was pushed back to February.

Before MaBone was supposedly scheduled for surgery, Feinglas, students and staff at Wilkinson Middle School banded together for a fundraiser to help MaBone face his cancer. He accepted $10,000 in donations and a car worth $5,000 on Friday.

"He had us all duped," Mesquite Independent School District communications director Laura Jobe told the Morning News.

School district officials told the Morning News that officials would return the donations. MaBone said he would return the car.