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Director is extradited to Dawson
Charges mount for prep coach
5 Wesley mug
Darren Wesley

The director of a sports academy was extradited Tuesday to Dawson County, where he faces mounting criminal charges for reportedly writing thousands of dollars in bad checks.

  

U.S. Marshals arrested 39-year-old Darren Wesley, director of North Georgia College Prep Academy, on Sept. 21 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

  

According to Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Wooten, more charges were filed this week against Wesley, including felony theft by deception for two checks totaling $10,000 for football supplies on closed accounts.

  

Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle said a first appearance hearing would be scheduled for late Tuesday or today.

  

Authorities had a company specializing in extradition bring Wesley back to Dawson County. He signed extradition papers Sept. 23.

  

In the meantime, the charges against Wesley have grown.

  

There are a total of seven warrants alleging nearly $20,000 in insufficient funds.

  

Along with the $10,000 checks reportedly written for football supplies, Wooten said another check was written for $625, resulting in another felony charge.

  

The sports academy is billed as a nonprofit college preparatory school.

  

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 deposit account fraud, or the attempted payment of money from a closed account.

  

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

  

The check for transportation was written for about $4,300, while the caterer received two checks, one for $1,000 and the other for $1,300.

  

Local Magistrate Judge Tony Tarnacki issued the first warrant Sept. 21 after hearing testimony from catering business owner Cathie Waddell.

  

The original amounts of the checks in Waddell’s report totaled more than $5,000, but one of them was not signed by Wesley.

  

Additional warrants were later issued through investigators.

  

Most of the reports have come from employees of the academy.

  

The financial troubles appear to have followed the academy, which moved to Dawsonville in July from Columbus, Ohio.

  

According to Franklin County, Ohio, Municipal Court records, Wesley was taken to court for an eviction Dec. 30, 2009, under the business’s former name, Columbus Post Graduate Sports Academy.

  

He paid $162 in restitution fines, according to court documents.

  

Phone calls to Wesley were not previously returned.

  

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

  

Many of the students, who range in age from 17 to 20, have traveled from far away to attend the academy in pursuit of college football scholarships.

  

Southern Catholic College, which ended classes due to a lack of funding, has been leasing its campus to the academy on a month-to-month basis.

  

Officials with the college could not be reached for comment.

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