Christina Miller faces two charges of felony grand theft in Greene County Common Pleas Court. RICHARD WILSON/STAFF

Fairborn teacher charged with theft from swim club she helped run

A Fairborn City Schools teacher has been placed on leave by the school district and charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a non-school swim club in Beavercreek.

Christina M. Miller, 38, pleaded not guilty to two counts of grand theft of more than $7,500 and was released on her own recognizance. Her final pretrial hearing in Greene County Common Pleas Court is scheduled for March 6.

Miller oversaw finances for the Idle Hour Swim Team, part of a private swim club of the same name on Kemp Road in Beavercreek. She served as vice president and had sole control over accounts, according to a Beavercreek Police report.

An investigation began in October, after Miller presented an altered financial statement to the swim team coach showing the team’s bank balance as $15,582.90. But the coach, who worked at the same Fairborn school as Miller, discovered another copy of the statement in his school mailbox, showing the balance as $5,520.49.

“It appears as though somebody cut out a previous balance amount and taped it over the new one and then made a copy of it,” the police report said. The altered documents may have been left on the school copier, then put in the coach’s mailbox by another employee who knew he coached there, according to the report.

Dennis Lieberman, the attorney representing Miller, declined comment Monday.

Swim team board members tried unsuccessfully for two weeks to pin down Miller about the money, hearing from Fifth Third Bank that there had been “unusual activity” on the account, according to the police report.

On Nov. 7, a Beavercreek detective and Fairborn school resource officer questioned Miller at Baker Middle School, where Miller teaches. Miller then admitted to police that she had taken money and altered the bank statement, according to the report.

A written statement from Miller, obtained from Beavercreek police, shows Miller claiming on Nov. 7 that she “fell on hard times” after becoming sick in 2017. The statement says Miller wrote checks to herself to pay for doctors, medication, a car payment and house payment. In the statement, Miller estimated she used roughly $14,000 to $16,000 of the team’s money and was going to pay it back.

Swim team officials told Beavercreek police they believe the total amount missing is about $26,000, pointing to registration fees that went through Miller’s PayPal account, and missing deposits from concession sales and petty cash.

Fairborn City Schools placed Miller on leave Jan. 9, pending the outcome of the investigation, the district confirmed Monday.

Ohio Department of Education records show Miller has held a K-12 license as an intervention specialist (special education teacher) since 2004. The school district website listed her as working with third graders at Fairborn Primary School.

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