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Director denied bond
Hearings set for Oct. 25
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Facing criminal charges for reportedly writing bad checks, the embattled director of a local sports academy was denied bond last week.


In making his decision, Dawson County Magistrate Judge Tony Tarnacki said that authorities consider Darren Wesley, 39, a high flight risk.


The charges against Wesley, director of North Georgia College Prep Academy, include felony theft by deception and felony deposit account fraud.


Warrants filed against him cite nearly $20,000 in insufficient funds, according to the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.


Two of the checks were reportedly written for $10,000 in football supplies.


Wesley likely will remain in custody until at least Oct. 25, when he has hearings scheduled in Magistrate Court.


Deputy court clerk Jennifer Thompson said Wesley will have a hearing for deposit account fraud at 9 a.m. that day.


A preliminary hearing on the other charges he faces will follow at 10 a.m.


Wesley was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Sept. 21 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and extradited to Georgia on Oct. 5.


Warrants issued for theft of services contend that Wesley “did by deception and with intent to avoid payment, knowingly obtain certain services.”


The other warrants were issued for the attempted payment of money from a closed account.


Businesses that reportedly received bad checks included a catering business and a transportation service.


Tarnacki issued the first warrant Sept. 21 after hearing testimony from catering business director Cathie Waddell.


Additional warrants were later issued through investigators.


Most of the reports have come from employees of the academy, which touts itself as a nonprofit college preparatory school.


Despite the director’s absence, coaches and students reportedly remain on campus.


Many of the students have traveled from as far as Canada to attend the academy in pursuit of college football scholarships.


The academy is on the property of Southern Catholic College, next to Gold Creek subdivision.


The college, which ended classes due to a lack of funding, has been leasing property to the academy on a month-to-month basis.