Checks written to Bingham High ended up in ex-coach Mark Dubach's 'personal business account'

Published: Saturday, April 27 2013 6:20 p.m. MDT

Bingham High basketball coach Mark Dubach reacts to a play on Feb. 25, 2013. He recently resigned as a coach and teacher amid allegations of financial impropriety.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

SOUTH JORDAN — Thousands of dollars intended for Bingham High School were deposited into an account not connected to the school that a former coach called his “personal business account.”

The checks, obtained by the Deseret News after a monthlong investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement against former basketball coach Mark Dubach, span four years and amount to $9,575. Twenty-six of the 27 checks obtained by the Deseret News were made out to Bingham High School or Bingham basketball and were intended for school fees, team-related trips and other purposes.

How much of the money was used for such fees and programs is unknown. Bingham High Principal Tom Hicks said he has no way of reviewing those transactions because they occurred in an account over which he has no jurisdiction.

Earlier this month, the Deseret News reported that Dubach’s decision to end his 22-year coaching career and resign as a teacher came amid allegations of financial improprieties and verbal abuse of players. He resigned after school and district officials opened an investigation into whether two checks written by parents totaling $800 for a gym rental were cashed into an account unaffiliated with the school.

Since that report was published, several parents came forward with checks they wrote to Bingham High that were deposited into that same Granite Credit Union account.

In addition to calling it his “personal business account,” Dubach told the Deseret News it was an account for his club basketball team. But Hicks said there are no outside accounts for any program affiliated with Bingham athletics or activities — including booster accounts. The Jordan School District prohibits any outside accounts for activities affiliated with a school.

Dubach declined to comment this week when contacted about the new information and referred all questions to his attorney, Melissa Fulkerson.

“He’s just devastated that any of the parents are suggesting that this money was used other than the benefit of the kids in the program. That absolutely devastates him that that allegation would be made. As his counsel, I haven’t seen any support for that accusation,” Fulkerson said.

The Deseret News interviewed seven sets of parents and received copies of checks written to Bingham basketball and deposited into the outside account from five of those families. They asked to remain anonymous because they said they fear repercussions for their sons. Some said they suspected problems with finances, but were reluctant to ask questions because they didn’t want to be seen as troublemakers.

One mother said she recently discovered that $1,850 “of my money went into his account. I want to know where it went. I think it’s past time this came out."

Her checks spanned several years and were written for school fees and costs related to basketball trips. When she realized the checks had been cashed at the same credit union account reported in the newspaper, she said she was angry.

“Instantly, you feel so betrayed,” she said. “I trusted him. … The more checks I found, the madder I became until I was just furious.”

Another mother discovered 12 separate checks totaling $3,135 that went into that account. She said she has mixed emotions about the money.

“I think it’s sad,” she said. “I guess justice should be served, but I feel bad for him and his family. I don’t know what to think about it.”

Another family produced six checks to the program totaling $3,750. One of those checks, written in December of 2009, was for $575 to pay for a full-page, color ad in the basketball program.