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Charlotte Couple Charged With Embezzling $200,000 From High School Booster Club

South Meck Foundation

A Charlotte couple has been indicted on federal charges of embezzling more than $200,000 from the booster club of a Charlotte high school. Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Anthony Sharper and 45-year-old Deana Sharper wrote themselves checks, wired money into their bank account and used the club’s debit and credit cards.

Multiple news outlets report the club was at South Mecklenburg High.

“The indictment further alleges that Anthony Sharper, who is a certified public accountant, also committed tax fraud by failing to report any of the embezzled funds on the couple’s joint 2018 and 2019 tax returns filed with the IRS,” the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina said in a news release.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Anthony Sharper was club president and Deana Sharper was the school store coordinator.

Anthony Sharper has also been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $236,000 in COVID-19 relief loans. The Justice Department says he used that money to cover his and his wife's tracks. Sharper is accused of submitting two Paycheck Protection Program loans — one in the booster club’s name and another in the name of his accounting firm, A. Sharper CPA PLLC. Prosecutors also say he applied to the Small Business Administration for an economic injury disaster loan. The Justice Department says all three applications contained false revenue and payroll information.

According to the indictment, the couple embezzled from the booster club between 2017 and June 2020.

The couple has been charged with wire fraud, which has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Anthony Sharper also faces charges of making false statements to a financial institution, making a false statement to the SBA and filing false tax returns.

WSOC-TV got this statement from the booster club:

“Following the resignation of both Anthony and Deana Sharper from the Booster’s Board last year, irregular transactions were identified and brought to the attention of our bank representative.

“Subsequently, the organization was contacted by law enforcement and cooperated fully with their investigation. This has had a detrimental impact on our student-athletes.

“For this reason, South Meck Sports Boosters is grateful for the thorough investigation completed by law enforcement.”

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Catherine Welch is Assistant News Director at WFAE. She has led newsrooms at KUNC in Greely, CO, Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence, RI and WHQR in Wilmington, NC.