Former Santa Clara Swim Club CEO and head coach John Bitter is working to sell his Arizona bar in order to pay restitution to the club from which he admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Silicon Valley Voice reported Saturday.
Bitter was fired from SCSC in late 2018 and later handed four felony charges. He was arrested in April, and in October, Bitter admitted to embezzling at least $500,000 in SCSC money and using it to purchase the Tipsy Coyote Bar and Grill in Scottsdale, Arizona. Investigators found that he bought the bar for $750,000, $300,000 of which came from a loan taken out in the club’s name.
Bitter appeared in a Santa Clara County courtroom Thursday for sentencing, but the judge agreed to postpone sentencing until March 27 at his camp’s request. On his way out of the courtroom, Bitter issued an apology to SCSC.
“I’m very sorry for what I did. I’m honestly very sorry for what I did,” Bitter said, according to the Silicon Valley Voice. “I wake up every day knowing I did something that I shouldn’t have done and my goal is to make the restitution necessary.”
In September, Bitter pleaded no contest to felony charges of embezzlement, grand theft and forgery. He is facing a prison sentence of no more than five years and eight months. Should Bitter pay full restitution, the judge could issue a lighter sentence — potentially without prison time.