Former teacher, coach, sentenced to pay back thousands - WNEM TV 5

Former teacher, coach, sentenced to pay back thousands

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A former Mid-Michigan teacher has been sentenced to pay nearly $33,000 in restitution for embezzlement and charitable gaming violations.

Timothy Phipps, 49, of Flint was a physical education teacher and baseball coach at Kearsley High School when officials accused him of diverting funds raised at more than a dozen charity poker events.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board investigated Phipps and found that district officials weren’t even aware of the charitable gaming events that Phipps got licenses for in 2012 and 2013.

Phipps pled guilty on Jan. 10 and agreed to pay restitution to the Kearsley school district.

“We are pleased the Kearsley schools will receive restitution for money raised at events advertised as fundraisers for the schools,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.  “State law clearly requires net proceeds from charitable gaming to be devoted exclusively to the charity’s lawful purposes.”

Investigators said Phipps used district officials’ names and forged their signatures to obtain licenses to hold charitable poker games, diverted the funds and then siphoned off some of the proceeds for personal use. The events were held at two former Flint-area poker venues, Gloria’s Poker Palace and Pocket Aces, where the MGCB disallowed charity gaming in 2013 due to violations.

Phipps is a 1984 graduate of Kearsley High School.  He taught science and physical education at the high school, coached baseball through the 2014 season and served as an assistant coach for varsity football.

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