Former Braham Golf Coach Facing Six Felony Counts

Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 6:32 am

A former Braham Schools golf coach is facing six felony theft charges relating to a fundraiser involving golf cards.

David Nickles was charged on Aug. 25 in 10th Judicial District Court in Cambridge with three felony charges of theft by swindle; and three other felony charges of taking without consent.

The charges stem the incidents that took place from January 2008 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Nickles appeared before Judge P. Hunter Anderson and was released on his own recognizance, with his next court appearance scheduled for Oct. 27.

According to the criminal complaint, the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department met with Braham Schools Superintendent Greg Winter, who told investigators that Nickles, the golf coach, had been purchasing golf cards through Birdie Marketing and selling them as a fundraiser for the team.

According to the complaint, in 2008, the district had to pay $630 to Birdie Marketing because no deposit was paid on 50 cards.

Then, according to the complaint, in 2009 70 cards were purchased but 39 cards were unaccounted for and not returned to Birdie Marketing. The total loss for the district in 2009 was $1,510.

In 2010, the complaint states that 50 cards were ordered and the school district paid $1,000 up front, $700 was made as a deposit, and 30 cards were unaccounted for and not returned to Birdie Marketing. The total loss to the district in 2010 was $1,350 reflecting the amount paid up front, and 30 cards unaccounted for.

Superintendent Winter told investigators that he received a personal check from Nickles in the amount of $1,180 and a note from Nickles summarizing mistakes he made in running the fundraiser and attempting to pay for the missing funds. Nickles also provided a spreadsheet to try to explain the shortcomings in the accounts. One reason Nickles gave was he paid bonuses for the players selling the cards and petty cash payments to the players, golf courses and pro shops.

The Isanti County News reports that the investigator, Rob Bowker Bowker followed-up with players on the golf team who said they were never paid any bonuses for selling the golf cards. Bowker also did not find any information that payments were made to golf courses and pro shops from Nickles to account for the missing money and/or cards.

Nickles is currently on leave from the school district.

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