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Centre Co. athletic director theft investigation deepens

Reported By: Gary Sinderson
Written By: Marc Stempka

SPRING MILLS, Pa. -- A longtime Centre County high school athletic director accused of stealing from school district athletic accounts could be responsible for more than $20,000 in missing money from an area athletic conference, police documents show.

A recent search warrant filed by investigators showed state police continue to look into financial documents and accounts tied to Don Hosterman, the former athletic director for the Penns Valley School District.

Hosterman was charged in mid-February with stealing $390 from athletic event accounts at the school. He was charged with misdemeanor offenses of receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking.

Following those charges being filed, officials with the Mountain League, an athletic conference that Penns Valley is a member of, contacted investigators about Hosterman. Officials said he served as the league's treasurer.

In the most recent search warrant, investigators said they were asked to conduct an investigation into league funds dating back to 2010. Investigators found Hosterman wrote checks to himself 27 times from the account, totaling $24,300.

Investigators said there was no legitimate reason that he should have been issuing checks to himself.

Police said the investigation continues into Mountain League money withdrawals and other finances tied to Hosterman. Schools from Blair, Centre and Huntingdon counties comprise the league.

As for the Penns Valley case, the missing money was noticed by a secretary, who found that the amount of money placed into a safe differed from the amount then reported to be deposited. The district had also set up surveillance cameras, on which Hosterman was seen pocketing money.

Hosterman admitted to the thefts when confronted, investigators said. He was removed from his position with the district.

Despite admitting to the thefts in the original court documents, Hosterman pleaded not guilty to the charges and is seeking a jury trial. He is due in court for a pretrail hearing in May.

Hosterman also served on the PIAA District VI athletic committee and oversaw several district sports during his time as on the committee.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times