Former Clay Middle School employee facing multiple criminal charges for alleged theft, unauthorized purchases


A former Clay Middle School employee accused of stealing nearly $95,000 from the school in cash and unauthorized purchases is facing multiple criminal charges. 

Hamilton County prosecutors on April 8 charged Aletta Nowlin of Carmel with corrupt business influence, official misconduct and 18 counts of theft of property between $50,000 and $750,000. She is being held in the Hamilton County Jail with bail set at $100,000. 

Nowlin worked as an administrative assistant at Clay Middle School from July 2012 until her termination in 2021. She also served as the building treasurer. 

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against Nowlin in November 2023 that stated she caused CMS to suffer a pecuniary loss of $205,002 between 2016 and 2021 through unauthorized credit card purchases, unaccounted funds, late fees and other costs. It repeatedly cited a State Board of Accounts investigation initiated after Carmel Clay Schools reported the missing funds in 2021. 

According to the probable cause affidavit, CMS officials became aware of the missing funds in 2021 after being asked to run financial reports to explore the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial losses on the school’s athletic department funds. It states that Nowlin was “unable to explain or justify” errors and inaccuracies identified in the report. 

The affidavit states that nearly $75,000 in cash was found to be missing from the Athletic Fund, Music Fund and Make-A-Wish Foundation Fund within the CMS Extracurricular Activities Account between April 10, 2019, and March 1, 2021. During that same time period, nearly $20,000 in unauthorized purchases were made on a Sam’s Club credit card. 

According to the affidavit, Nowlin told investigators that she used cash for personal gain rather than depositing it into the ECA account, and she admitted that she used the school’s Sam’s Club credit card for her own personal use “quite a bit” to buy groceries and items for her children. The affidavit states that unauthorized purchases on the credit card include jewelry, makeup, household items, gasoline, gift cards and more. 

Current reached out to Nowlin’s attorney for comment but did not immediately receive a response. 

Nowlin’s trial date is set for Aug. 13 in Hamilton County Superior Court 2.