By Anika Myers Palm, Orlando Sentinel
11:09 a.m. EDT, May 11, 2011
A gymnastics instructor accused of defrauding the parents of her students surrendered to authorities Tuesday -- and baited her accusers with a defiant photo she'd taken of herself outside the jail.
Chrystal Hinchliffe, 27, who ran Zero Gravity Gymnastics in South Daytona, turned herself in at the Lee County jail and was released about two hours later after posting $20,000 bond on a charge of organized scheme to defraud.
Hinchliffe is accused of taking thousands of dollars for May tuition in mid-April, just days before closing the school for good. She also contacted the owner of another gym offering to sell her gymnastics equipment for $15,000, according to the police report. That owner declined to purchase the equipment after learning that Hinchliffe still owed $9,000 on the materials.
On April 17, two days after she collected the tuition, a parent drove by the school and noticed Hinchliffe taking items from the school and placing them into a moving van. Several parents then complained to police. The state attorney's office issued a warrant for her arrest on Friday.
Hinchliffe, who now lives in southwest Florida, turned herself in at the Lee County jail at 1:02 a.m. Tuesday. Minutes after her release, she uploaded the self-taken photo on a Facebook page called "Survivors of Zero Gravity Gymnastics where parents of her former students bemoan their involvement with her, accuse her of fraud and say they hope for an apology.
Hinchliffe also has posted on the page, calling the parents "haters" and other names, while engaging in back-and-forth arguments.
The photo features Hinchliffe sticking her tongue out while standing in front of the Lee County jail.
She also posted a photo of her booking paperwork.
In: Regional News
Tags: gymnastics teacher, fraud, facebook photo, Florida
Location: Orlando, Florida, United States (load item map)
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