NEW ALBANY — A former Southern Indiana middle school cheerleading coach appeared in court in Floyd County Thursday on multiple charges of fraud related to missing funds.
Erin K. Bryson, 30, was charged July 26 with seven level 6 felonies for forgery and a level 6 felony for theft related to allegations she cashed multiple checks made out to the school into her personal account between June and December 2018. She was arrested Wednesday in Clark County on the warrant for this case and transported to the Floyd Country jail.
A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf during an initial hearing Thursday in Floyd County Superior Court No. 1. At the request of a representative of her legal team, her bond was lowered to $7,500 court cash from $10,000 court cash, based on Bryson's lack of criminal history. She would have to pay 10 percent of that to be released.
Court records show Bryson allegedly deposited into her account seven checks totaling $1,027.50, which were written to Scribner Middle School to be used as donations to the cheer team. Scribner Middle School Athletic Director Kurt Meyer was made aware of the allegations, and the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. began an internal investigation.
Court records show that while looking into allegations, Meyer discovered that $3,005.50 was unaccounted for — funds which had been expected to have been turned in by Bryson. When asked, she told him she had reimbursed herself for some of the activities and services, however, he said he had never authorized such actions.
He found that reimbursable receipts based on receipts turned in by Bryson totaled $1,763.58, which left $1,241.92 unaccounted for and not reimbursable, according to court records.
Bill Briscoe, assistant to the superintendent for administration and operations, said Thursday that Bryson had been removed from her duties as coach when the internal investigation began. On Feb. 19, she sent an email to the school corporation tendering her resignation.
"At this time, after everything that has happened, I do not wish to coach cheerleading for SMS any longer," the email reads, in part. It also states that she wished to donate her stipend pay from that season to the cheer program moving forward.
Briscoe declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.
Bryson has a pretrial conference scheduled for Aug. 29, with an omnibus conference set for Sept. 26.