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California football coach accused of embezzling school funds

Readers may think of embezzlement as a crime that only business professionals can commit. The fact is, anyone entrusted with money that belongs to another party can be accused of embezzlement, a serious crime in California.

A California resident was recently arrested on suspicion of embezzling thousands of dollars from the high school where he works as a football coach. He could face a lengthy prison sentence and heavy fines if convicted.

A school official received a tip in August that an employee had embezzled funds. Police began investigating, and soon targeted the football coach, a 42-year-old man who also works as a campus monitor. They searched an area home, which may be the suspect’s residence, and arrested him at another location while executing a search warrant on that property.

They specifically accuse the suspect of taking money from fundraisers for the high school’s athletic department that took place over several months. The exact amount of money allegedly taken is not mentioned by KMAX-TV, but it allegedly runs into the thousands of dollars.

Following the arrest, the school district put the defendant on administrative leave. Many people charged with a white collar crime find their career put at risk by the charges.

The evidence in white collar crimes can be complex and technical. A defendant representing themselves against the know-how and resources of the prosecution puts themselves at risk. A defense attorney with experience in defending embezzlement and other white collar charges can examine the evidence for signs that the prosecution’s claims are incorrect. A lawyer may also be able to negotiate a plea bargain that avoids incarceration, if that is the best course of action.

Source: KMAX-TV, “Vanden High’s Football Coach Accused Of Embezzling From Athletic Fundraisers,” Aug. 27, 2014

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.