Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Greg Tibbetts, former Vicksburg Middle School principal, charged with embezzlement in Michigan

 Greg Tibbetts, the former principal of Vicksburg Middle School accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a former student, is now being charged with embezzling from the school district, according to Carrie Klein, Kalamazoo County chief assistant prosecutor.

Tibbetts has turned himself, and is currently in jail awaiting his arraignment this afternoon on a felony charge of embezzlement of $1,000 to $20,000, Klein said.
The arraignment will be done by video before District Judge Richard Santoni, Klein said.

The felony charge carries a prison sentence of up to five and/or $10,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater, Klein said.

Klein said it has not been decided whether to combine the embezzlement case with the sex-abuse charges issued against Tibbetts last October.

Tibbetts already is facing 13 felony counts stemming from his alleged relationship with a former Vicksburg Middle School student. Tibbetts, 42, resigned as principal last November after those charges were filed.
In May, Tibbetts' attorney filed notice that he is pursuing an insanity defense in the sex-abuse case.

As a result, Tibbetts was ordered to undergo evaluation at the state's Center for Forensic Psychiatry.  A status hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 9.

The embezzlement allegations stem from a discovery last fall that about $15,000 in suspicious purchases were on a district-owned credit card controlled by Tibbetts.

Steve Goss, assistant superintendent for Vicksburg Community Schools, has said district officials found the  suspicious charges after the card had been compromised by identity theft unrelated to Tibbetts' arrest in the sex case.

As district officials were studying the credit card statements to rectify that situation, they discovered suspicious purchases made by Tibbetts.

Goss has said the purchases includes gift cards, prepaid cellphones and minutes, clothes and groceries.  One especially suspicious purchase was a surveillance camera disguised as a clock radio. The purchases occurred over a year-long period, Goss has said.

Tibbetts was charged with sex-abuse charges after a mother found sexually explicit texts that appeared to be from Tibbetts on her 16-year-old son's cellphone.

During an investigation by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, the teen boy told officials Tibbetts supplied him with alcohol and expensive gifts as part of a two-year relationship that turned sexual in nature.

In addition to sexually explicit text messages exchanged between Tibbetts and the teen, the investigation turned up child pornography on Tibbetts' school-owned iPad.

Tibbetts is facing one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, five counts of using a computer with child sexually abusive material, five counts of possessing child sexually abusive material, one count of using a computer to solicit another to commit distribution of child sexually abusive material, and a count of exhibiting sexually abusive material to a minor.

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