CUTLER BAY, Fla. – A former South Florida high school athletic director was arrested Monday after he stole more than $3,000 from students for at least two years, an investigation revealed.
Alphonso Thomas faces a felony charge of grand theft.
An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General for Miami-Dade County Public Schools revealed that Thomas was stealing from student-athletes at Cutler Bay Senior High School while serving as athletic director during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
The investigation began after the OIG received an anonymous complaint from a parent.
According to a letter from Inspector General Mary T. Cagle to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Thomas collected money from 60 student-athletes during the 2014-15 academic calendar to purchase school board-approved health insurance. However, Thomas only deposited insurance premiums for 38 students, keeping $660 for himself and leaving 22 students uninsured, Cagle wrote.
Thomas also took $30 for health insurance and $20 for an unapproved athletic fee from about 80 student-athletes during the 2015-16 academic calendar, but he never purchased the insurance, Cagle wrote.
Cagle said Thomas admitted to depositing a total of $3,240 of his students' money into his personal bank account.
Thomas, who had been an employee of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 1988, turned himself in to police Monday morning and was later released on his own recognizance. A school district spokeswoman said Thomas retired in the midst of the investigation with an annual salary of $71,385.