BIBB COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Two cheerleading coaches in Alabama are accused of stealing thousands of dollars from their teams.
Deputies from the Bibb County Sheriff’s office say the women used that money to buy personal items. They also believe one of the women, 36 year-old Candace Foreman, may have used it while manufacturing methamphetamine inside of her home.
Foreman was arrested before the theft allegations came out on charges including Unlawful Manufacturing and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Both Foreman and the other coach, 30 year-old Codi Dailey, have been charged with Possession of a Forged Instrument and Theft I.
Meanwhile, the members of the Bibb County Youth Cheerleading Squad had to go to their first game of the season on Saturday in cotton shorts and t-shirts.
The money that was stolen from the team’s account was intended to go towards uniform costs and other cheerleading expenses.
Parents of team members began to get suspicious around two weeks ago. They tell WIAT 42 the uniforms hadn’t been delivered and the coaches were dodging their questions.
“Once they realized they were missing funds, that’s when they came to the sheriff’s office and did a report, and then our investigator started from there,” said Deputy Kevin Lawrence.
Lawrence says it’s difficult to determine exactly how much money is missing. The entire account was drained. Officials within the cheerleading organization believe it was at least $2,800.
” We’re disappointed,” one cheerleading parent who wished to remain anonymous told WIAT 42. “That was the main thing over and over again. We just kept saying how disappointed we were…that you put your trust in people.”
“Our investigators does have video of both suspects at local stores in Bibb County using checks from that account,” said Lawrence. “Some checks were used for “CASH” which has made it hard for the investigator to find where that money was spent.”
Team officials say that the money that was stolen came from some of the squad’s registration fees and two team fundraisers. They also say the theft has left the squad with a negative balance in the account, and some parents are attempting to pay out-of-pocket to make up the difference and get all of the children the items that they need.
The children on the squads range from ages 4 and 5 to 12 and 13. There are around 30 girls participating on the squads this year.
The team now has a GoFundMe page. They’re trying to raise the money that was lost, and it’s already gotten a good response from the public. One donor has promised to match any donations made to the page before 8:00pm on Friday evening.
Parents tell us the girls are resilient, and that they enjoyed cheering at the first game, but not having the uniforms has been tough. “Really frustrating,” one squad mom said. “We’ve been part of other [cheerleading] programs. We were wanting to do that in our area. We’re just disappointed.”
The squad has another game this Saturday. They are hoping to get uniforms, which have been paid for a second time by several parents, before then.
If you would like to donate to help the squad cheer on the Choctaws in their purple and gold uniforms, CLICK HERE.
Law enforcement has confirmed that this is an authentic account and donations will go toward helping the team members and their parents.