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RHS cheer coach embezzlement trial postponed


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The trial of a former Roswell High School cheer coach accused of conspiring to embezzle more than $54,000 has been continued at the request of a special prosecutor.


Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the State of New Mexico v. Deborah Perry trial is set to take place on July 24.
Deborah Perry, 58, was charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count of tampering with evidence in May 2015.
Kimberly Guerrero, former president of the Roswell High School Cheer Booster Club, was also accused of misappropriating funds on three counts of embezzlement against the organization.
Previous reports state that charges toward Guerrero were dismissed on the grounds that “further discovery is necessary” on Jan. 20 by special prosecutor Scot D. Key. However, the district attorney reserves the right to refile charges against Guerrero at a later date.
According to a criminal complaint filed with the courts Sept. 15, 2016, the investigation began after a group of parents expressed concerns about the amount of money shown on bank statements for the booster club.
On the evening of September 17, 2015, a Chaves County Sheriff’s Department investigator attended the organization’s meeting. After explaining to parents that the booster club was subject to an open investigation, police learned that Guerrero attempted to close the Roswell High School Cheer Booster Club’s bank account unsuccessfully.
After reviewing bank statements with booster club parents, police learned that there were multiple charges to the organization’s debit card.

Police spoke with the organization’s treasurer at the time and obtained their bank account information via the treasurer’s cellphone. After amounts that were claimed to be deposited could not be found, police suspected that finances collected from the Booster Club’s fundraisers were deposited into a personal account belonging to Guerrero and Perry.
The amount of $48,619 was misappropriated from 2014 and 2015. Both Guerrero and Perry were accused of diverting sponsorship or fundraising money to personal accounts or for personal use.
In addition, charges to the organizations debit card had numerous purchases to activities unrelated to the cheer team, including a total of nine cash withdrawals and 40 purchases spanning from September 2014 to August 2015, totaling $5,399.08, had also occurred. The transactions include more than $350 at an Albuquerque Dave & Busters, over $100 at Portofino and $576.26 from eight different Wal-Mart purchases.
The total combined amount of money taken from sponsorship and cheer fees and unrelated purchases is $54,018.08.
The case is assigned to Judge Kea Riggs of the Fifth Judicial District Court of Chaves County.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Scot D. Key from the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Alamogordo has been assigned as a special prosecutor for the trial.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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