Former Sachem High School North football coach David Falco was sentenced to 280 hours of community service on Tuesday after a jury found him guilty in September of filing bogus timesheets to steal money from the school district.
Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy Mazzei sentenced Falco, 53, in Riverhead court on Tuesday. He was facing a maximum sentence of 5-to-15 years in prison, though prosecutors recommended a sentence of either 6 months of jail with 5 years of probation or 1 year of jail with no probation.
Falco's sentence does not include any probation.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini had said Falco filed timesheets requesting $5,755.68 in compensation for supervising weight room sessions between Dec. 8, 2017, and Jan. 15, 2018, for work actually done by his assistant coaches.
“I commend the prosecutors for securing a conviction against this defendant at trial. As a result, he was required to repay the school district the funds he stole. We will continue to act tirelessly to hold public servants accountable,” Sini said in a statement.
Falco's attorney, John Scott Prudenti, said Falco voluntarily paid back the money to the district in September 2018, which was two months before his arrest.
“He’s looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind him and getting on with his life,” Prudenti said.
Falco, of Center Moriches, has been on paid administrative leave from his primary job at the school as a physical education teacher since his arrest in November 2018. Sachem Superintendent Kenneth Graham said at the time that Falco "has been reassigned to home pending the outcome of the legal process."
A spokeswoman for the district said Wednesday there’s been “no change” in Falco’s status since then. Falco was paid $121,822 during the 2018-19 school year, according to data reported to the New York State Teachers Retirement System obtained under the state's Freedom of Information Law.The 1984 Sachem North graduate coached the Sachem North football team for 15 seasons until his resignation in August 2018 just days before the start of the season. He also stepped down then as the school's physical education chairman.
Falco, hired as a teacher in 1996, took over the football team in 2003, went 82-58 and won the Long Island Championship in 2013.