A former lacrosse coach for Fort Mill High School embezzled funds from the school’s Booster Club and failed to refund hundreds of dollars collected from parents for a youth travel Lacrosse team he never created, authorities said.
Parker S. Thomas, 26, of Tega Cay, was charged after two separate criminal investigations. He is free on a personal recognizance bond.
Fort Mill Police Maj. Bryan Zachary said the suspect was apparently receiving payments from five individuals to cover the cost of fees and equipment for a youth travel lacrosse team that he was creating.
“Subsequently, the formation of the team was not completed, and following numerous attempts to recover their investment, Mr. Thomas failed to financially reimburse the victims,” Maj. Zachary said in a press release.
Two of the victims paid $575 each and three others paid $300 each.
In the other case, a school administrator notified police that three personal checks made payable to Fort Mill High School for $250 each were missing from the Athletic Booster Club account.
“Investigation into this matter revealed that those checks were personally provided to Mr. Thomas, while on the premises of the Fort Mill High School, and then deposited into his personal bank account, thereby depriving a public entity of the funds,” Maj. Zachary said.
On Wednesday, a bond hearing was conducted by a Judge of the Municipal Court of Fort Mill, and Thomas was given a personal recognizance bond on all charges. He released from custody.
Thomas was charged with five counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent (less than $2,000), and three counts of embezzlement (less than $10,000).
Thomas was reportedly coach at Fort Mill High School a few years after playing on the state championship team. More recently, he was named sports information director and lacrosse coach for Legion Collegiate Academy.
Joe Burke, spokesman for Fort Mill school district, released this statement: “The district became aware of some accounting irregularities related to non-school district accounts involving a former employee. The district reported the information to law enforcement for further investigation. Any questions about the investigation should be directed to law enforcement.”