Chicken Wings - © Antonis Achilleos via

Silly Time Roundup: Chicken Embezzler, Grubhub ‘Miner’

It’s not been too long since we presented a roundup of stories that we just had to share, but didn’t necessarily deserve an individual post all their own. Today, we spotlight a couple of spectacular ‘heists’…

Mason Stonehouse - © 2023 Keith StonehouseMason Stonehouse: “The cars kept coming,” dad Keith
Stonehouse recalls. “The doorbell kept ringing…”

Staying active after retirement

They say it’s good to stay active after retirement. It keeps the mind sharp and the body limber. But it’s equally important to keep one’s expectations within the realm of the reasonable.

That’s where former Harvey (near Chicago) School District 15 Food Services Director Vera Liddell ultimately tripped up. She might never have been caught if she’d kept her embezzling within reasonable, below-the-radar amounts. But she actually started hauling the booty away by the truckload, and somebody noticed.

Vera decided to skim a little for herself during the COVID-19 lockdown, piggybacking orders from food wholesalers for her own use, on legit orders the in the name of the school board. In case you were wondering, the school system was still make meals available for students, by pickup, in spite of the fact that the kids were distance learning from home at that time.

Liddell placed bogus orders for various food items from July 2020 until February 2022. But the most brazen haul of all involved a series of requisitions for Chicken Wings valued at more than (US)$1.5 million. What she did with them all remains unknown.

One of the oddest things about the scam: Nobody noticed what was going on until a regular periodic audit of the food system took place about half way through the 2021-2022 school year. Somebody finally realized that the school lunch program doesn’t serve chicken wings, because wings contain bones the kids might swallow.

Last we heard, the case was still under investigation…

Playing Grub Hub Roulette

The fate of a 6-year-old Michigan boy who masterminded a mammoth food embezzlement operation using his dad’s Grubhub membership remains in limbo following the discovery of an ordering spree that racked up bills totalling more than $1,000.

Keith Stonehouse of Chesterfield Township in Metro Detroit let his 6-year-old, Mason,play with his cell phone one Saturday night while his wife was out of the house for the evening at a movie with friends. The kid apparently accidentally opened Keith’s Grubhub app, and started punching buttons randomly. Except it wasn’t quite random.

By the time Keith discovered what was happening, he’d put Mason to bed and just settling down for a quiet evening. Then the doorbell started ringing. For more than an hour after that, Grubhub drivers remained lined up outside his house waiting to drop off orders – some huge – that finally totalled more $1,000.

On the menu: five large orders of jumbo shrimp, salads, shawarma and chicken pita sandwiches, chili cheese fries, ice cream, grape leaves, rice and more.

Mason thought the Grubhub app was a game. There’s no report on whether he thought he had won or lost.

“[It] was like something out of a Saturday Night Live skit,” said Keith Stonehouse, who adds he’s still not laughing…

You’re welcome…

And that’s your great Food Heist Update for this week. Stay tuned for more food news madness in the blessed, bedazzled, befuddled future…

~ Maggie J.