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Soccer Moms Seek Answers After Coach Takes Money

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CLAYTON, N.C. — Some soccer moms from Johnston County feel like they have been double-crossed.

The moms said they gave their trust and money to a man who stole them both.

"I feel like I've been taken," Michelle Shaw said.

Taken and kicked from behind.

Shaw's son was excited to play indoor soccer this summer. She wrote a check for $57, payable to the Sports Warehouse.

The man who runs the Sports Warehouse was putting together a soccer league. His name is Mike Priest. His store is closed, and the money is gone.

"I turned in $900 to him," said Stacie Mixon.

The $900 was for uniforms and team fees. Mixon said she collected checks from about a dozen parents, went to the store, and handed the checks to Priest.

That was months ago. Parents said Priest has not returned their phone calls.

WRAL called Priest and got in touch with him. He said he never got the phone calls from parents. He said he refunded $10,000 in soccer money but that he didn't have phone numbers or addresses for four of the parents.

One of those four parents was Mixon.

"You know, it wasn't right what he did," Mixon said, "especially to the kids."

WRAL gave Mixon's phone number to Priest. The station, and Mixon, will wait to see if Priest calls her. He said he would call her and refund her money.

"I mean, we're not the only group, I'm sure, that he got over on," Shaw said. "I'm sure there are . . . I mean, this is probably not the only group."

Parents said they trusted Priest partly because he ran the soccer league last year without any problems. They hope to get their money back but know that may be a long shot.