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High school softball coach accused of stealing booster funds

The 65-year-old is a coach at Lakeville South High School.

A high school varsity softball coach has been charged with the alleged swindle of more than $15,000 in booster funds.

Eric Heflen, 65, of Rosemount, was charged with three felony counts of theft by swindle for alleged crimes carried out while he was the coach at Lakeville South High School.

Police were called in September to a report of alleged misappropriation of funds by Heflin, who allegedly submitted an invoice for reimbursement for $2,365 for a project involving field work to the softball field.

The invoice says the work was carried out by a company in Farmington, which later emerged didn't exist.

Further investigation found multiple similar alleged thefts carried out between December 2018 and July 2020.

This included the reimbursement for use of a facility in December 2018 for indoor practices, with Heflin requesting $2,685 from the booster club, but the rental for the facility was only $1,685.

Other instances saw him submit reimbursement claims for softball equipment including balls and helmets from Amazon for more than $1,000 in April 2019, but it emerged the only purchase he'd made from Amazon that month was for a $100 memory card.

In January 2020, he submitted a reimbursement request for $2,276.20 for some team uniforms, but the company he "bought" them from said the purchase was never made, and the invoice he submitted was actually an estimate, not a receipt.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said: "Any theft of monies intended to support youth athletics is very disturbing. The alleged victims in this case include not just the Booster Club, but all those who donated money to this organization."

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