A former varsity baseball coach at Valencia High School appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzling thousands of dollars from the school's student body government.
Jared Snyder, 44, is charged with four counts of felony grand theft and one felony count each of embezzlement by a public officer, embezzlement by a private officer and misappropriation of public funds. Los Angeles County prosecutors say Snyder stole the money between 2008 and 2013.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives began looking into the baseball team's finances after parents reported their suspicions that Snyder was ripping off the program, the department said in a statement.
A school district audit found that Snyder had been submitting false reimbursement reports to the Valencia High School Associated Student Body for his program's expenses and was pocketing the money instead, officials said.
Authorities allege that Snyder opened up a bank account under the name "Valencia Diamond Club," mirroring the team's booster account, which is supported by the players' parents. Authorities said he used at least $7,000 from the fake account to pay off personal credit card bills. An additional $8,000 was also siphoned away from the school's student government, officials said.
Snyder is free on his own recognizance and is due back in court March 6. If convicted on all charges, he could be sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.