Pa. youth baseball coach who collapsed on bus accused of $22,000 scam

Walter Perez Image
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
VIDEO: Little league coach accused of pocketing money for team trip
He's a youth baseball coach accused of pulling off a major league scam.

UPPER MAKEFIELD TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Local baseball coach Shaun Pugh stands accused of failing to cover $22,547 in expenses for a planned trip to Atlanta last month with his travel baseball team the Throwbacks.

Bucks County Assistant DA AJ Garabedian says it's one of those crimes that never ceases to amaze him.

"It's that someone would do this to 14, 15 year old children, that's the part that amazes me. Not that these people were duped by him, but that he would take advantage of them," Garabedian said.

Pugh's alleged scheme started unraveling when the team was on the bus bound for Philadelphia International Airport when the 33-year-old coach collapsed onto the aisle.

The parents called 911 and Pugh was taken to the hospital.

That's when the decision was made to go to Atlanta without the coach.

"The parents get to the airport and they realize no tickets had been booked. One of the parents graciously pays for it. They get to their destination and then realize there were no hotel rooms booked as he said there was," Garabedian said.

All despite the fact that each of the parents gave Pugh between $2,000 and $3,000 to cover the costs of this trip.

Michael Minakowski, whose son played for the Throwbacks under Coach Pugh last year, says he is heartbroken, but not terribly surprised.

"Unfortunately whether it's a dance studio competitives or a soccer team, we see more and more of this temptation. I think it has more to do with the growing budgets," Minakowski said.

Garabedian says he is still gathering more evidence to prove that this was not the first time Pugh stole from the families of his baseball players.

"Like one specifically there was a Super Bowl fundraiser he organized and never paid out the victims. So it wasn't just this instance, there were other instances, as well," Garabedian said.