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Lapeer H.S. softball coach faces embezzlement charge following Michigan Attorney General and Gaming Control Board investigation
February 11, 2016
Teacher pleads guilty to charitable gaming crimes
Detroit - A Lapeer High School softball coach faces an embezzlement charge, two other Lapeer residents must answer to misdemeanor charitable gaming violations and a Lapeer district teacher has pled guilty to charitable gaming violations following a joint criminal investigation conducted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The two-year investigation focused on charity poker events conducted at Gloria’s Poker Palace in Burton, Mich., between 2010 and 2013.
Lapeer High School softball coach Mallory Jackson, Tamara Miller and Gerald Miller all pled not guilty in 67th District Court to crimes related to millionaire party charity events. Jackson and the Millers are relatives. In a related case, Lapeer Community Schools teacher Matthew Nowak, 38, of Attica pled guilty Feb. 11 to two charitable gaming violations in 67th District Court.
“It’s very disappointing when people in youth leadership roles are accused of illegal activities and diverting money associated with charitable fundraising,” said Richard Kalm, executive director, Michigan Gaming Control Board. “Our neighbors support fundraising events because they expect their money to go to charity and not to be misled about how their money is spent.
“We will continue to enforce Michigan laws to protect the public and charities from unscrupulous and illegal behavior by persons involved in charitable gaming,” Kalm said.
The following persons were charged:
Mallory Jackson, 28, of Davison (Lapeer High School softball coach):
Tamara Miller, 48, of Lapeer (ex-treasurer of Lapeer West Softball):
Gerald Miller, 49, of Lapeer (ex-vice president of Lapeer West Softball):
Matthew Nowak, 38, of Attica (biology and life sciences teacher at Lapeer’s Zemmer Middle School and a wrestling coach at Lapeer High School), who pled guilty and paid $725 in fines and court costs for:
Jackson allegedly embezzled money from the Lapeer West Softball Club between September 2012 and October 2013 while she was the club’s president. Investigators allege Jackson gave a portion of the money raised at Lapeer West Softball Club millionaire party events to Michael McCollum, which violates state law.
McCollum was arraigned recently in 67th District Court on multiple felony charges of larceny by false pretenses and a felony embezzlement charge related to charity poker events at Gloria’s Poker Palace in Burton between 2010 and 2013 (see MGCB Jan. 20, 2016, news release for details).
While Tamara Miller served as treasurer of the Lapeer West Softball Club between October 2010 and July 2011, she allegedly diverted money raised on the club’s behalf to Addix (a custom sports apparel provider), Oxford Wrestling and Michigan USA Wrestling, which violates state law. Tamara Miller is a certified public accountant with Sullivan & Sullivan.
Gerald Miller allegedly diverted money raised on behalf of the Lapeer West Softball Club to the Renegades Baseball Team and/or McCollum and Nate Fuson, Lapeer West Wrestling Club’s chairperson, while he served as its vice president between December 2010 and March 2011, violating state law.
Lapeer West Softball was an independent organization not affiliated with the schools that qualified for millionaire party event licenses.
Gloria’s and two other Flint area “poker rooms” -- Pocket Aces and Lucky’s -- are among several Michigan locations where charitable gaming was discontinued. Since 2014, six people associated with Gloria’s, Pocket Aces and Lucky’s have pled guilty to gaming crimes following investigations by the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the MGCB. Investigations into charitable gaming activities are continuing.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."