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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

9/11/2012 9:30:00 AM
Wokasch case dismissed ... for now
Laura and Tom Wokasch
Laura and Tom Wokasch

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- The fraud and theft case against Tom and Laura Wokasch has been dismissed in Verde Valley Justice Court.

The motion to dismiss charges against the former Mingus wresting coach was made by the Yavapai County Attorney's Office last Thursday.

Tom and Laura Wokasch appeared in Verde Valley Justice Court Aug. 21.

The case was then transferred to Yavapai County Superior Court for felony prosecution. That's where the case hit a road-block. On Sept. 4, the hearing before Judge Tina Ainley for an Early Disposition Court plea did not occur. The case by then had been continued.

On Sept. 6, Judge Bill Lundy of the Verde Valley Justice Court was asked to "dismiss the case without prejudice." The terminology "without prejudice" means that the case may re-filed by the state and prosecutor David Loder's motion specifically states that it "will be resubmitted for additional investigation."

Yavapai County Chief Deputy Dennis McGrane said his department has received information from the defense for Wokasch and the department is following up on that disclosure before deciding whether to proceed.

Wokasch and his wife Laura are charged with misappropriating funds received from student activities during school wrestling events. They reportedly deposited cash from wrestling tickets and concession sales in their personal bank accounts over a five-year period at Mingus Union High School, from April 4, 2004 to March 9, 2009.

The theft charge alleges the couple pocketed between $4,000 and $25,000 through as many as seven bank accounts, though Mingus officials believe the amount is probably higher than that.

Considered a white-collar crime, the case took two years to investigate because of its complication. It was referred to the Rocky Mountain Information Network in Denver, a joint law enforcement investigative arm, because of the difficulty in the investigation.

Related Stories:
• Wokasch fraud and theft investigation back on track
• Wokasch, wife make first court appearance
• Editorial: Wheels of justice continue to spin in Wokasch case
• Former Mingus wrestling coach Tom Wokasch charged with fraud and theft
• 2010 Review: Wokasch dismissal top Mingus story of 2010

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Article comment by: Court Watch Dog

Yes, by all means stay on it.

Only...the next time you decide to drag someone into court and provide fodder for the Independent and it's readership to vilify them, at least have the decency to have your ducks in a row.

Either you have a case or you don't. If you do have a case, by all means go forward with it.

But untill you do, please leave these people (and the rest of us as well), alone.

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Article comment by: CITIZEN WATCHDOG

Stay on it. No one - not even popular jock/coaches - are above the law.

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