Manzano HS parent speaks out on former cheer coach’s embezzlement, fraud
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Police say a woman took thousands from the Manzano High School Cheer Team.
KOB 4 first brought you the story Friday. Now, we spoke with a man who says he’s one of the whistleblowers who helped get the ball rolling.
He says he and other parents noticed Michelle Hamrick mishandling team funds – money they spent countless hours raising.
After months of complaints to administration she was moved to coach the dance team. But he says Hamrick still had her hands in team funds.
“I finally said, enough is enough. And I went to the athletic director,” said Jaysin Serrano, a concerned parent.
Serrano says his daughter has been on the Manzano Cheer Team for the past few years. But Serrano and other cheer parents quickly realized there were major issues with the team.
“When we would go through crowdsourcing events, all of a sudden that cash would go missing. And she said she would say ‘Oh, somebody stole it,’ or this or that, when we’d go to concerts and things like that to fund cheer,” said Serrano.
He says on several occasions the head coach – now former head coach – Michelle Hamrick would claim money raised for the team went missing.
Hamrick is now charged with 10 counts of fraud and 10 counts of embezzlement – all felony charges.
“It wasn’t any type of shock to me. It’s not just me that has reported her for numerous things,” Serrano said.
According to court documents, in December 2022, a whistleblower complaint was filed with Albuquerque Public Schools’ Human Resources against Hamrick.
Serrano says Hamrick would routinely collect money from the team, but they’d never get the items she promised the money was for.
“She had us Cash apping her funds for supposed T-shirts and things like that. We never got any types of those things. So she was taking money from us and from the school left and right,” said Serrano.
Court documents say in January, an audit was done on the Manzano Cheer Team. It found over $40,000 could not be traced back to the activity fund accounting system.
The APS Activity Fund Manual says “it is prohibited to deposit school funds in a non-school bank account.”
The criminal complaint says over $13,000 was deposited into Hamrick’s personal accounts from cheer parents.
“It’s atrocious. It’s awful, awful thing. But again, it’s not it wasn’t surprising. I saw with my own two eyes numerous times,” said Serrano.
Serrano says while he’s relieved to see something being done now, he’s frustrated it took so long.
“Numerous parents of kids and cheer without throughout the last few years have reported her. So none of this is really shocking to me, but I am very happy that they’re finally doing something about it,” said Serrano.
Hamrick was placed on administrative leave before officially resigning in February. At last check she’s not currently in custody.
KOB 4 reached out to her for comment but did not hear back. We are waiting for a response from APS.