Former varsity softball coach charged with stealing funds from Lakeville youth booster club | KSTP.com

Former varsity softball coach charged with stealing funds from Lakeville youth booster club

Former varsity softball coach charged with stealing funds from Lakeville youth booster club Photo: KSTP-TV.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: November 25, 2020 04:45 PM
Created: November 25, 2020 03:21 PM

A Rosemount man faces charges after he allegedly stole funds from a youth softball booster club in Lakeville.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced 65-year-old Eric Heflin has been charged with three felony counts of theft-by-swindle in connection with the alleged theft of over $15,000 from a Lakeville youth sports booster club from December 2018 through July 2020. At the time of the alleged thefts, Heflin was the varsity softball coach at Lakeville South High School.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Wednesday, in September 2020, the Lakeville Police Department received a report of the possible misappropriation of funds by a high school varsity softball coach identified as Heflin, who had been the softball coach for Lakeville South High School since October 2018.

In his role as head coach, Heflin was responsible for the selection and purchase of equipment, among other duties. It was initially reported that he submitted an invoice to the booster club requesting reimbursement in the amount of $2,365 for a project involving field work to the softball field. The complaint states the invoice indicated the service was provided by "ABC Concrete and Laser Grading," located in Farmington. An investigation revealed that this company does not exist and it appeared to be a falsified invoice.

Upon further investigation by law enforcement, other alleged falsified invoices were submitted to the booster club by Heflin. They go as follows:

  • A request for reimbursement for use of a facility for indoor practices in the amount of $2,685 was submitted by Heflin to the booster club for the month of December 2018. This amount was paid to Heflin, but it was subsequently determined that the business only billed for $1,685 for the month's use.
  • A request for reimbursement for use of a facility for indoor practices in the amount of $1,875 was submitted by Heflin to the booster club for January 2019. This amount was paid to Heflin, but it was subsequently determined that the business only billed $875 for the month’s use.
  • A request for reimbursement for use of a facility for indoor practices in the amount of $1,095 was submitted by Heflin to the booster club for the month of February 2019. This amount was paid to Heflin, but it was subsequently determined that the business only billed $750 for the month’s use.
  • A request for reimbursement for the purchase of softballs and helmets from Amazon in April 2019 in the amount of $1,069.82 was submitted by Heflin to the booster club. This amount was paid to Heflin. In checking with Amazon, the order number provided for this purchase corresponds to the purchase of a memory card valued at just over $100.
  • A request for reimbursement for the purchase of uniforms in the amount of $2,276.20 in January 2020. This request was approved, and Heflin was provided a check in this amount. A customer service representative for the business from which the uniforms were supposedly purchased said the invoice submitted by Heflin for this purchase was actually an estimate and this order was never filled.
  • A request for reimbursement for field armor panels in the amount of $2,592.09 was submitted by Heflin to the booster club in February 2020. The request was approved, and Heflin was provided a check in this amount. An agent for this business indicated Heflin was only provided a quote and these items were never ordered or shipped.
  • A request for reimbursement for cage divider screens in the amount of $1,178.35 was submitted by Heflin to the booster club in February 2020. This request for reimbursement was approved and Heflin received a check in this amount. An agent for this business indicated that the confirmation number from the order receipt is not a number identified to this business and thus it was never ordered or placed.
  • A request for reimbursement for four separate transactions, all from the same business, for base anchors, safety base, breakaway bases, and home plate, totaling $1,144.82. This amount was paid to Heflin in February 2020 by the booster club as reimbursement for these purchases. An employee for the business reviewed the invoices Heflin provided in his request for reimbursement. These invoices were determined to be fabricated and not related to any purchases made by Heflin or connected to this team.
  • A request for reimbursement for the purchase of signage for the dugouts was submitted by Heflin in March 2020. In support of his request, he provided two invoices, one in the amount of $1,050 and the other in the amount of $1,500, along with copies of checks from Heflin for these amounts. The booster club reimbursed Heflin $2,550 for these expenses. The owner of this business reviewed these invoices and did not recognize them as invoices he sent. The owner indicated he previously went to the softball field and measured the dugouts to make metal pans to put on the dugouts and had completed a large pan for the dugout, but he intended to donate his work and product to the softball program. He indicated he informed Heflin of this last fall.

The complaint goes on to say that when a detective questioned Heflin over the phone about these alleged fraudulent transactions, he initially denied any knowledge of them, then stated he was not sure if he submitted any "homemade" invoices to the booster club. Heflin later acknowledged in one instance that he made up the invoices he had submitted.

 Heflin has been summoned to court and will make his first appearance regarding these charges in the next several weeks.


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