Theft leaves ex-coach with regret
Stealing $40,000 from a soccer league results in five years' probation
For 15 years, soccer was Tamila Alcoran's life, seven days a week, playing, coaching and serving as a Kaneohe youth soccer official.
Now, on the streets of Kaneohe, she walks "with her head down because I know I did wrong and take responsibility for my actions," Alcoran said. "Now I have to live without it as a volunteer and player."
Alcoran, who apologized in court yesterday, saying she let a lot of people down, will not serve any prison time for stealing more than $40,000 from the American Youth Soccer Organization's Kaneohe region.
Circuit Court Judge Richard Perkins ordered Alcoran, 38, of Kaneohe to five years' probation yesterday but denied her request to defer her plea, which would have allowed her to have it expunged from her record if she complies with the court's conditions.
Perkins also ordered her to perform 300 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine.
She pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in November, admitting to forging seven checks, including one for $12,000, and depositing them into the checking account of her family's insulation business.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter had asked for probation with a year in jail, a $10,000 fine and 250 hours of community service, and objected to a deferral.
Former American Youth Soccer Organization state Director Mark Steward asked the court to give Alcoran the maximum sentence, arguing that she breached the trust placed on parents and volunteers and that taking money from children is "pretty reprehensible."
The money had been collected from registration fees paid by the players every season to buy uniforms and pay other operating expenses.
Defense Attorney Michael Ostendorp argued that Alcoran did not take the money to benefit herself personally, but to help cover the payroll for her family's company. She took over the business after her father suffered a heart attack, and used the money she stole to keep the company afloat, he said. She intended to pay it back but got in over her head, he said.
Alcoran obtained a loan from her father and repaid the money a day after she was arrested last April. But she is permanently suspended from AYSO as a volunteer, Stewart said.
"She was a great volunteer, always willing to step up," he said. "Unfortunately, she made a very poor decision by taking the money."
He said he hoped parents understand that what happened in this case was an aberration and that a vast majority of their volunteers are "honest, hard-working people and hope they continue to trust their children with us because we have the best organization in the state for child development," Stewart said.