The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has finished its investigation into a kickback scheme that embroiled local high school coaches and has handed its report to the District Attorney’s office.
The stem from the second owners of a now-defunct athletic equipment company, who discovered the first owners of Lapes Athletic Sales in Laguna Hills set up special “slush-fund accounts” for coaches across Southern California.
As parents made purchases from the company, a portion of the proceeds went into the coaches’ accounts, owners Teresa and Geoff Sando have said.
The has , Eric Patton of San Clemente High, Chi Chi Biehn of Mission Viejo's Capistrano Valley High; and Brent Melbon of Dana Point's Dana Hills High.
No conclusion has been reached about the role of Saddleback Valley Unified coaches in the scheme. According to a district spokesperson, the investigation into possible kickbacks at Saddleback is ongoing.
Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said his department has finished looking into the matter and has handed off his report to DA’s office within the last week.
“Our investigators report the facts and then turn it over to the DA. It’s up to the DA to decide whether to pursue any charges,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the DA’s office confirmed the Sheriff's Department turned over the report recently.
"We're reviewing all the information. I don't have a timeline yet," Farrah Emami said. "We can't discuss what's in the report."
Capo Unified hired its own private investigator to look into the charges the Sandos lodged against the coaches and . It painted a picture of bribery, theft and conspiracy.
The documents say the district lost "hundreds of thousands of dollars, with a significant amount of the loss going to the coaches."