Mat-Su Valley hockey coach and teacher James Smith made his first court appearance Monday. Smith plead not guilty to five felonies. The charges include one count of theft in the first degree, one scheme to defraud, one count of fraudulent use of an access device and two counts of forgery in the second degree. The alleged offences occurred back to 2008 when Smith was handling funds for a junior league hockey team.
The State of Alaska says that Smith forged signatures and documents for charitable gaming permits. Smith is charged with using proceeds from the gaming activates to fund the Alaska Avalanche Hockey Club, his own for-profit venture. The amount of money smith allegedly misused totals over 48 thousand dollars.
As part of his bail, smith is forbidden to have access to finances other than his own. A pre trial conference is scheduled for April 19th.