Authorities in Florida are searching for a former cheerleading coach who is accused of stealing funds from the team.
Marion County sheriffs deputies are seeking 32-year-old Richard "Khris" Tillman, who investigators said defrauded students, parents and the Booster Club out of more than $6,200, WCJB-TV reported.
Tillman was a volunteer cheerleading coach at Belleview High School, and was on his way to becoming a paid cheerleading coach when the financial discrepancies arose. After the Marion County Sheriff's Department launched the investigation, officials say Tillman disappeared.
Tillman allegedly routed the funds to his own business account instead of the team's account. https://t.co/fbkEwk6PME— WCJB TV20 News (@WCJB20) May 2, 2023
“It’s an upsetting thing,” MCSO Lt. Paul Bloom said, as reported by WCJB-TV. “You’re supposed to be helping these children, and developing them, and coaching them, and in reality you’re stealing from them.”
Deputies said Tillman organized fundraisers for cheerleaders to work at concessions at the University of Florida. Tillman allegedly routed the funds to his own business account instead of the team’s account.
“As a mom contributing to sports, I can’t imagine somebody losing a significant amount of money and not knowing where it is or if you’re gonna get that back,” parent Heather Proco told WCJB-TV. "We work hard as parents to contribute to these events and for somebody to just take it out from under you, and now we have no idea where this person is or if you’ll ever get your money back, that’s hard on a parent."
Marion County Public School officials said Tillman was fired when the investigation began.