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Traverse City – A former northern Michigan teacher and football coach has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in an embezzlement case involving more than $5,000 in missing cash.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 44-year-old Jason G. Leonard faces up to a year in prison after admitting Wednesday to embezzlement and illegal use of a debit card in a plea bargain offered by the Grand Traverse County prosecutor’s office. He originally faced a charge of embezzlement of $1,000 to $20,000 from a nonprofit.

Michael Naughton, Leonard’s attorney, declined comment after the hearing. Sentencing is June 12.

Leonard coached the varsity football team and taught physical education at Kingsley Area Schools between 2014-2017, and also helped run his Kingsley Youth Wrestling program. The club’s treasurer discovered that money was missing from the group’s bank account.

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