Hempstead police and Nassau County district attorney’s officials said they are investigating a theft of up to $3.5 million from the Hempstead school district, but school officials said all but $300,000 is expected to be recovered.

Hackers intercepted a $3.5 million wire payment from the district to the Evergreen Charter School, Hempstead School Board President Lamont Johnson said Friday night. 

Police and banking officials were able to stop all but $300,000 of the payment from being obtained by the hackers, Johnson said. He could not say when the theft occurred. He said the theft will not affect district finances and noted the district was insured.

"Hackers make themselves into someone else. We're taking proper steps so this never happens again," Johnson said. "Law enforcement and banking officials picked up something wasn't right."

School districts are required to pay student tuition to charter schools. Johnson said the hackers may have tried to steal from other districts.

Authorities said Friday evening that the investigation is ongoing. Hempstead Police Chief Richard Holland declined to offer details.

Hempstead School District Superintendent Regina Armstrong declined to comment through a spokesperson. Evergreen Charter School Superintendent Elena Litescu declined to comment.

The Hempstead school board held an emergency meeting at 4 p.m. Friday seeking advice from legal counsel. District officials declined to elaborate on the meeting and the investigation, which was held in executive session.

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