Former Austin Peay coach takes around $30K from university
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office found that the former Austin Peay track and cross country coach misappropriated around $30,000 of university funds after an investigation.
The investigation determined the Douglas Molnar, who was the head track and field and cross country coach from September 2004 until June 2019 misappropriated Austin Peay funds totaling at least $30,600.45.
The vast majority of the misappropriated money was collected and turned over to Molnar during track and cross country fundraiser events hosted between 2015 and 2018. These fundraisers included several athletic events in which participants were charged entry fees. At least $29,775 that was collected during these events should have been deposited into an Austin Peay bank account; however, investigators discovered that Molnar retained this money for his personal benefit.
Molnar’s misappropriation also includes fraudulent travel claims totaling $600. Molnar either overstated or fabricated how much he had spent for the track team to attend track meets when he claimed reimbursement from the university.
Finally, Molnar diverted a money order totaling $225.45 into a bank account that he controlled. The money order was made payable to Austin Peay and should have been turned over to the university for deposit.
During the course of the investigation, investigators learned that Molnar deposited some of the misappropriated money into a joint checking bank account and a “Douglas Molnar, DBA Tennessee Athletic Project” bank account that he controlled. Investigators said 21 of the checks he deposited into these accounts were made payable to Austin Peay.
On Thursday, Douglas Molnar entered a guilty plea by criminal information in Montgomery County Criminal Court on the charge of theft of property over $10,000. The court granted judicial relieve, placed Molnar on four years of supervised state probation and ordered him to pay restitution in the total amount of $30,600.45.
“We appreciate that Austin Peay officials reported these allegations to our office,” Comptroller Jason Mumpower said in a news release. “As a result of these findings, we encourage the university to ensure that fundraiser collections from track and cross country events are turned over for deposit to university accounts. Collected amounts should also be reconciled with deposits to reduce the chance of misappropriations.”
The university did not renew Molnar’s coaching contract after the 2018-2019 school year.
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