Long Island baseball coach investigated over missing tournament money

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Michelle Charlesworth reports the money was supposed to pay for the team's trip to Cooperstown. (WABC)

A youth baseball coach on Long Island is being investigated for thousands of dollars of missing money, that was supposed to pay for a tournament.

Parents say the coach promised the 12-year boys team they would play near the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The parents raised some $13,000. But they got suspicious when they found out the team wasn't registered.

The Nassau County District Attorney's office confirms it is investigating.

But the coach is not charged.

For the team, it's about much more than money.

"This is one shot, you can only go when you're 12 years old. It's a once in a lifetime experience," said Paul Jacobs, father of one of the players.

For five years, the kids were dreaming of the Cooperstown week-long tournament trip.

"The heartbreak is unbelievable. The betrayal of his coach, who he loved. He loved this guy," said Jacobs.

Jacobs and other parents have made claims to the DA against the coach, Vincent Carreca, who coached most of the players for five years, from the age of 8.

Now Carreca is being investigated by the DA for allegedly taking the more than $13,000 and killing the kids' dreams.

"The Monday before we were supposed to leave, he had a practice and wrote an email, 'pack your Gatorade, your case of water, get your blankets ready, we're going to Cooperstown,'" said Jacobs.

We called and went to coach Carreca's home for comment. We also reached out to his attorney, but got no answers.

We do have a letter from his attorney to the parents dated September 5th, promising "reimbursement", and saying "Funds have been deposited into this firm's escrow account", and ensuring "payment of these claims."

"The money is not the biggest thing. I mean, the kids, the heartbreak, the once in a lifetime, gone. My kid went into shock for two days, other kids were screaming, crying for days at a time," said Jacobs.

Money was due Nov. 1st, March 1st, and then in June there still could have been a shot at registering the team, had the parents only known.

"This kind of betrayal shouldn't happen to 12 year old kids. He stole whatever innocence they had left, he took and it's gone," said Jacobs.




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