A Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas grand jury has indicted a former Brush High School booster on six charges, including grand theft, claiming he stole thousands of dollars from funds set up for the Brush High School baseball team and a scholarship created in honor of a Brush high school hockey player who died in 2017.
David Gordon faces felony charges of grand theft, theft, two counts of money laundering and a charge of telecommunications fraud for depriving the 4Alec scholarship and Arcs Baseball, a nonprofit fund set up for Brush High School’s baseball team.
The indictment charges Gordon with taking $14,462.64 from the Arcs Baseball fund and $2,963 from the 4Alec scholarship, created to honor Alec Kornet, a Brush High junior who died during hockey practice on Feb. 14, 2017 due to complications from an enlarged heart. In addition to playing hockey for the Arcs, Alec Kornet was the starting second baseman on the Brush baseball team and the team played its 2017 season in honor of him, with most of the money raised in the fund intended to go toward a March 25, 2017, trip for the team to Tampa, Fla. for a baseball tournament. Gordon was one of the organizers of the trip.
Gordon also faces a charge of grand theft for taking a $22,000 personal loan from Michael Pressman and only repaying $4,000 of the loan back, leaving about $18,000 unpaid. Gordon used to drive a vehicle for Pressman.
Alec's mother, Stephanie Kornet, of South Euclid created the 4Alec Foundation with her husband, Scott, to honor Alec’s life and raise awareness to the dangers of undetected heart disease in children and to sudden cardiac arrest. The foundation has been scheduling heart screenings at schools in the area to help detect heart disease in students.
Stephanie Kornet told the Cleveland Jewish News her family first became aware of the alleged theft in June 2017, just a few months after Alec had passed. She said Gordon had been a good friend of her husband’s, in addition to being a booster for Brush athletics. She said they were “blindsided” by the situation when they first found out but were happy to see the charges filed by the grand jury against Gordon.
“We just want justice for Brush Arcs baseball and 4Alec,” she said. “Obviously, we want the story out so (Gordon) can’t, hopefully, do this to anyone else. ... It just added extra stress to our grieving process.”
Gordon did not return messages seeking comment. Gordon's arraignment is scheduled for April 1 at 8:30 a.m., according to a spokesman from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.
"What bothers me is you have a community coming together to raise money for very good purposes and you have an individual who is in the mix of that and is willing and able in this particular case to take those funds for his own purposes," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley in a statement provided to the CJN.
Gordon referred the Cleveland Jewish News to his attorney, who did not return messages seeking comment.
Stephanie Kornet said even though this happened to her family, they remain focused on their goals and continuing to build the 4Alec Foundation; the organization is planning its third heart screening on April 25 at Brush High School and is planning its first annual reverse raffle, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 25.
“It’s not about the money, it’s about getting him off the streets so he can’t do it again,” she said. “We’re appreciative of the outpouring of continued support in this difficult time.”