Local News

Fayetteville basketball coach pleads guilty to not paying employee taxes

Posted June 28

Heath Curtis Vandevender

— A high school basketball coach pleaded guilty Wednesday to not paying employee withholding taxes at his Fayetteville school and related organizations.

Heath Curtis Vandevender, 48, of 932 Westland Ridge Road in Fayetteville, pleaded guilty to embezzlement of state property and was sentenced to 16 to 29 months in prison, suspended to 90 days in the Cumberland County jail and five years on probation. He also was ordered to pay a $45,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.

Authorities said Vandevender withheld $388,442 in state taxes from employee paychecks at Truth Outreach Center Inc. between 2008 and 2016 but never paid those taxes to the state Department of Revenue.

Truth Outreach Center is party of Trinity Community Services, which provides child care services, health and nutrition programs and K-12 classes in the Fayetteville area. Trinity Christian School also is part of Trinity Community Services.

Vandevender has already paid the state the tax money due.

Trinity Christian School declined to comment.

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