Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ex-coach convicted of stealing from team in California


Former Monte Vista High School baseball coach Larry Rinehart was convicted Tuesday of two felony counts related to embezzling team funds from 2005 to 2007.

He faces up to three years in prison and will be sentenced Aug. 30. The prosecutor, Daniel Shim, said evidence showed Rinehart, 59, took at least $16,000 from the team bank account and spent it on gambling in county casinos.

An El Cajon Superior Court jury found him guilty after less than a day of deliberations. Rinehart did not testify and could not be reached for comment.

His wife, Margaret, also had been charged with grand theft in the case, but Judge Lantz Lewis dismissed that charge in May because of insufficient evidence. The District Attorney’s Office last month refiled charges against her in a case that is pending.

Larry Rinehart most recently was employed at Helix High before resigning his position there earlier this year. He was listed as an instructor who taught accounting, money matters and personal finance. He coached at Monte Vista from 2003 to 2007.

"Our office is glad the defendant was held accountable for his actions," Shim said.

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