Police: Texas drill team booster club president embezzled thousands

Booking photo of Tricia Brigance Hubbard (Bonham Police Dept.)
Booking photo of Tricia Brigance Hubbard (Bonham Police Dept.)(KXII)
Published: Sep. 17, 2019 at 2:05 PM CDT
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Police say the woman accused of embezzling thousands from a Bonham High School drill team booster bank account turned herself in over the weekend.

Bonham police say 46-year-old Tricia Hubbard paid bills and even sent her daughter on mission trip, totaling around $5,000 all on the drill team's dime.

They say she was the booster club president, so she was in charge of the finances and the account was in her name.

"It was heartbreaking," said War Dancer Director Sara Nuncio.

That's how she describes the moment she learned the War Dancer's bank account was negative.

She said the 20 girls on the team raise every penny themselves.

"It's almost like a month straight where we do nothing but fundraising for these girls, so they work really, really hard for their money," Nuncio said.

Nuncio said the girls ask for sponsorships and donations from businesses, hold car washes, bake sales and face paintings over several months.

It's to pay for uniforms, costumes, workout attire- everything.

She said not only is their money taken away, but the drill team experience too.

"So when you don't get that performance feeling, then you really miss out on what drill team really means to them," Nuncio said.

Bonham Police Detective Melanie Elliott said Hubbard used the funds for personal reasons.

"They were very specific to some utility bills, cellphone bills specifically," Elliott said.

Bank records show Hubbard also wrote a cashier's check for more than $3,000 to pay for her daughter's mission trip.

It all came out when checks bounced back and then other booster club parents were notified the account was overdrawn.

So with overdraft fees, money to make up for the declined checks, plus the thousands stolen by Hubbard, the War Dancer's are out nearly $10,000.

"The girls work for it, you know, it's something that they put in effort for. So that makes it even worse," Nuncio said.

Nuncio said even with all the setbacks, the girls are staying positive and moving on.

"They're not using this as an opportunity to be a victim, they're using this as an opportunity to say, 'Okay well let's just get up and try again," Nuncio said.

Hubbard posted a $7,500 bond Saturday afternoon.

The War Dancer's have several fundraisers coming up and they're also accepting donations at the Fannin Bank under the Bonham War Dancers Booster Club.

The first fundraiser is a car wash and bake sale Saturday at Security Finance on Highway 21 in Bonham.

The next is a cornhole tournament on Oct. 5 at 12 p.m. at the Fannin County Fair.

Nuncio said a local restaurant is even letting girls wait tables to raise money.

From now on, three people will sign for the bank account.

Bonham ISD's superintendent said in a statement that booster club finances are not controlled by the district.