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Bond set at $20,000 for prep school coach
Preliminary hearing has been waived
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Bond for a sports academy director charged with felony theft by deception and felony deposit account fraud has been set at $20,000.


As of Tuesday afternoon, 39-year-old Darren Wesley remained in local custody.


He has been charged with reportedly writing thousands of dollars in bad checks to his employees and area businesses.


Superior Court Judge Jason Deal said that upon bonding out, Wesley would be required to stay in Dawson County and open a savings account to begin paying off his debts to local residents.


According to Magistrate Court Deputy Clerk Jennifer Thompson, a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 8 was waived for discovery.


A Nov. 10 civil case regarding the eviction of North Georgia College Prep Academy, which is still reportedly operating, was postponed until Dec. 1, she said.


Southern Catholic College, which is leasing its campus to the prep academy on a monthly basis, filed eviction papers Oct. 18 to have the academy removed.


Wesley filed a response to the claim last week, stating that upon issuing the lease, “all things were not in ‘working order’ as stated.”


At the bond hearing Nov. 4, Senior Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill said Wesley’s situation was that of “a man whose dreams [of a sports academy] were bigger than his skills to run it.”


However, it was noted by the district attorney’s office that Wesley’s criminal background was not limited to the alleged bad checks.


J.D. Hart, Assistant District Attorney with the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, said Wesley was on probation for a 2008 incident in another state, where he had been charged with theft by taking a motor vehicle.


Many of those who have filed reports against Wesley over the last two months in Dawson County have been businesses the prep academy hired to provide services.


When the checks did not clear, they filed incident reports.


Magistrate Judge Tony Tarnacki issued a warrant Sept. 21 for Wesley’s arrest.


Later that day, U.S. Marshals arrested Wesley in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He was extradited to Georgia on Oct. 5.