Swim coach Ken Stopkotte is in legal trouble again. Stopkotte, who is on probation for stealing $180,000 in donations to Nashville-area churches, served 3 years in prison in that case after being arrested by Mexican police.
According to the court records, federal prosecutors filed in the U.S. District Court in Dayton, Ohio on charges that Stopkotte used 37 counterfeit $20 bills at a Dayton Dragon’s minor league baseball game. He was detained by event security and found him in possession of 2 more counterfeit $20 bills that matched the ones received by vendors at the game.
According to the complaint, Stopkotte told Dayton Police (falsely, according to the arresting officer) that he traveled from Indiana to Dayton “to watch a Reds prospect pitcher.
The story continued:
“Upon arrival at the stadium, Stopkotte stated he had paid a ‘scalper’ $20.00 for a ticket into the stadium and purchased the ticket with a $100.00 bill. (At the time of his interview, Stopkotte possessed a total of $212,72, including 9 genuine $20 (bills), which he released to investigators for inspection. Stopkotte denied any involvement in uttering counterfeit currency in the stadium and also related he must have received the counterfeit from the ‘scalper.’ Stopkotte was also found in possession of seven Debit Cards bearing the name Donald Brush or Donny Brush. When asked about his possession of the Debit Cards, Stopkotte stated Brush was a friend of his and his lessor for his residence at 6117 South Shore Drive, Unionvile IN 47468. Stopkotte stated he received the Debit Cards in the mail at his residence addressed to Brush, intercepted and opened them, and placed his own funds on the accounts without Brush’s knowledge or permission. Stopkotte state he had “no excuse” for taking the accounts over.”
Brush is a former associate head coach at Indiana University and current High Performance Coach at Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania.
Detectives noted discrepancies in the story and 8 of the 21 vendors at the game that received counterfeit $20 bills identified Stopkotte as the person who spent the bills.
Stopkottoe then said “Wouldn’t I have more money on me if I had passed all of those $20s?” Police agreed, and re-searched Stopkotte, ultimately finding $647.72 of “genuine currency” on him, including $166 under the insert in his right shoe. Eventually, 55 more counterfeit bills in 2 plastic bags were discovered under a refrigerator near where Stopkotte was original detained. In total, 91 counterfeit $20 bills were found in the stadium and directly attributed to Stopkotte.
After the additional evidence was discovered, Stopkotte confessecd to the crime. His new explanation, per the official complaint:
“Stopkotte stated he was currently on Federal Probation for Money Laundering and Bank Fraud. Stopkotte stated he had served 37 months in federal prison in West Virginia following his arrest by the U.S. Secret Service in Nashville, TN. Stopkotte stated in early March 2018, he purchased approximately 200 counterfeit $20 (bills) on the Dark Web site “Dream Market.” Stopkotte stated he received the counterfeit mail a “couple days later” from a Columbus, Ohio postmark. Stopkotte stated he travelled (sic) to Phoenix, AZ approximately two weeks ago and attended a Hockey (sic) game where he uttered 15-20 of the counterfeit $20 (bills) to vendors. Stopkotte stated he then travelled (sic) to Dayton, OH and attended a Dragon’s Baseball Game and estimated that he passed 25-30 counterfeit $20 (bills) to vendors. He acknowledged attempting to hide – as police were approaching him – the above-mentioned two bags of counterfeit (bills) under the refrigerator also mentioned above. Stopkotte stated he worked alone and did not know the person that had manufactured the counterfeit on the Dark Web. Stopkotte stated he had hidden additional counterfeit $20 (bills) in the “cover for my boat” located in the rear of 6117 South Shore Drive, Unionville, IN 47468. These counterfeit (bills) were later discovered by (Secret Service) agents in Indiana.”
The charges of uttering counterfeit money and dealing in counterfeit money each carry maximum sentences of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Stopkotte was arrested on April 18th, and has had a public defender appointed in the case.
Stopkotte’s list of issues relating to fraud is long; he was given a 2-year ban on USA Swimming membership in 2010 after being found to have counted 31 disqualified swims as legal swims and entering those results into the SWIMS database.
Stopkotte at the time said that USA Swimming was targeting him for appearing on ABC’s 20/20 earlier in the year criticizing USA Swimming for covering-up sexual abuse by its member coaches.
He was also charged with theft later in 2010 for financial irregularities relating to his role as the head coach at both the Fishers High School and the Fishers Area Swimming Tigers. Those charges were later dropped and he filed a defamation lawsuit against Hamliton Southeastern School Corporation.
Stopkotte still does not appear on USA Swimming’s public list of individuals permanently suspended or ineligible for membership.