Thursday, September 28, 2023
Rio Rancho

Former Cleveland Coach Charged With Embezzling School Funds


The former boys basketball head coach at Cleveland High School was charged with fourth-degree felony embezzlement after he allegedly used a Rio Rancho Public Schools-issued credit card to attend a concert in Dallas with his daughters.

Saying he wanted to spend more time with family, Sean Jimenez resigned as coach in April after seven successful seasons with the Storm, including a Class 5A state championship in 2021.

He faces up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, if convicted. The fourth-degree felony covers crimes involving sums of not less than $500 and not more than $2,500.

A district spokesperson said Jimenez also resigned as a physical education teacher in the district and paid back the money he charged to the credit card.

According to the criminal complaint, Rio Rancho Public Schools began an investigation after a Human Resources investigator noticed “suspicious” charges made by Jimenez after the coach purportedly attended a coaches clinic in Dallas. Investigations Manager Richard Misbach came to the Rio Rancho Police Department May 2 with documentation of the alleged embezzlement, as well as a tape recording of Misbach’s interview with the coach. The complaint states that Jimenez “admitted to using the school issued credit card to pay for food, hotel and rental car for him and his daughters to ultimately attend an I Heart radio concert. Sean stated the trip was not basketball related and the main purpose of travel was to attend the music concert.”

According to, Jimenez compiled a 144-56 overall record as the Storm head coach from 2017-2023. The Storm made it to state championship games in 2018, when they lost to Las Cruces Centennial, and the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, when they beat Hope Christian for the title.

Jimez is scheduled to be arraigned before Bernalillo Magistrate Delilah Montano-Baca on July 24.


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