Former teacher, coach accused of embezzling charity funds - WNEM TV 5

Former teacher, coach accused of embezzling charity funds

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A former high school teacher and baseball coach is facing embezzlement charges.

Timothy Phipps, 49, of Flint allegedly used Kearsley officials’ names to embezzle money, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

This was done by setting up poker games, diverting the funds and using some of the proceeds for personal use, the board said.

This allegedly happened at 22 charity poker events between July 2012 and October 2013. The events were advertised as fundraisers for Kearsley district schools, where Phipps worked.

He was a physical education teacher and baseball coach at Kearsley High School.

Phipps was arraigned on Nov. 13 for embezzlement and charity gaming law violations.

“Phipps allegedly misrepresented himself as an official or agent of various schools in the Kearsley school district to obtain millionaire party licenses and divert tens of thousands of dollars raised through charity poker events,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.  “Investigators discovered district officials were unaware of 22 millionaire party events for which he obtained licenses. Phipps allegedly diverted funds from the events, which were advertised as fundraisers for the district’s schools.”

The events were held at Gloria’s Poker Palace and Pocket Aces in Flint. The MGCB shut both venues down in 2013 for violations.

Non-profit organizations may receiver four licenses a year to host these types of events for charity purposes, the MGCB said.

Phipps chaired 49 millionaire party events or paid a family member or family friend to act as chairman between 2009 and 2013.  He allegedly forged district officials’ signatures on event applications and reportedly placed some gambling profits in a bank account for the Kearsley Baseball Boosters group, which is not affiliated with the schools. While some funds were used legitimately, investigators say nearly $17,000 was never deposited into the schools’ or boosters’ accounts,” the MGCB said in a press release.

Kearsley schools has cooperated with the investigation.

Phipps was charged with one count of embezzlement of $1,000 or more, two counts of gambling-charitable gaming-disposition of proceeds for devoting a portion of the net proceeds of a millionaire party for an unlawful purpose by using proceeds for personal use.

Phipps acts violate Michigan’s Bingo Act, the MGCB said.

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