It's looking like embezzlement of public money in Capistrano Unified's athletic department, a top administrator told the Orange County Register Wednesday.
District Superintendent Joseph Farley said early findings of an internal investigation show coaches in one of Orange County's largest school districts may have received kickbacks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from a local sporting goods company.
A PBS story broke in May that showed high school and college coaches across Orange County reportedly from a now defunct Laguna Hills sporting goods company.
According to the Register, for the past nine months, the Capistrano Unified School District has been conducting an internal investigation into the matter. The probe is separate from a .
"We believe there could have been criminal misconduct," Capo Superintendent Joseph Farley told the Register Wednesday. "The findings are significant enough that it merits being turned over to the sheriff's department."
In May, PBS SoCal reported that coaches from 29 schools received kickbacks from Lapes Athletic Team, a sports apparel and equipment company that did business with area school districts.
Between 2000 and 2008, the company put taxpayer money into secret slush funds, some of which was given directly to coaches, according to records uncovered by Teresa and Geoff Sando, an Irvine couple who took over the now defunct company.
To read Wednesday's Register story in its entirety, click here.