Kentucky high school students who joined the Future Business Leaders of America club probably weren’t expecting an up-close lesson in financial crimes.
But now that a grand jury has indicted the teacher who served as the club’s former treasurer, that’s exactly what students are getting.
Their former teacher is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the club and from the school where he worked, according to the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.
Bryan Bentley, a 37-year-old resident of Union, Kentucky, faces two counts of grand theft after an Ohio grand jury indicted him on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said. Both counts are fourth-degree felonies.
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Ohio investigators started digging into Bentley’s financial dealings in November 2017, according to the sheriff’s office. That’s when Kentucky law enforcement alerted their Ohio counterparts that they suspected Bentley had stolen more than $52,000 from the Kentucky Future Business Leaders of America when he served as the group’s treasurer from January 2015 to October 2017, the sheriff’s office said.
Bentley “used funds from the organization without authorization for personal reasons,” according to the sheriff’s office.
By the time Ohio law enforcement got involved, Ryle High School — the Kentucky school where Bentley worked — had already fired him, according to the sheriff’s office. (Union is across the Ohio River from Ohio’s Clermont County, which is just outside of Cincinnati.)
But during the investigation, authorities said they uncovered even more theft than what had been stolen from the business club.
Fifth Third Bank reached out to Ohio investigators about multiple checks Bentley had written and cashed from a school-linked bank account in Clermont County from September to November 2017. Those checks amounted to more than $50,000 in stolen funds, the sheriff’s office said.
All told, Bentley swindled the business club and school organizations out of more than $103,000 with his unauthorized transactions, authorities said.
FBLA representatives were also involved in the investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
Bentley is set to appear in Clermont court on June 27.