By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Travel Cheerleading Coach Facing Embezzlement Count

An Escalon woman who serves as a cheerleading coach for an Oakdale-based travel team was arrested on Friday, Oct. 6.

Escalon Police reported the arrest of Samantha Marie Silva, 34, of Escalon in connection with the case, accused of taking funds from the cheerleading bank account of the Oakdale Inferno cheer team for her personal use.

“On Oct. 5 the reporting party … came to the police department to report that her daughter’s cheerleading coach, Samantha Silva, out of Escalon had been taking money from a cheerleading bank account and was using it for her own personal gain,” Escalon Police Department officials noted, adding that Silva was also identified as the head coach of the travel cheerleading team called the Oakdale Inferno Cheer.

Escalon Police Chief Gus Flores said the complaint stated that Silva had started a fundraiser for the Oakdale Inferno Cheer in order to pay for a trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, which the team had been invited to participate in. The money was deposited at local bank under the name of Oakdale Inferno Cheer.

However, Flores said, Silva is believed to have withdrawn money from the account for personal use and also utilized donations received to her Venmo and PayPal accounts.

Silva is suspected to have stolen approximately $45,000 in total.

On Friday, shortly before 3 p.m., police said Silva requested to speak with an officer, regarding a complaint she believed had been filed or was going to be filed against her.

Officer Sean Jumaoas spoke with Silva at her residence, said Flores, and she provided a statement admitting to taking money from the cheer account and that she was in a financial hardship. She admitted taking money since July 2023, the police report indicated.

“After she provided the statement, she was taken into custody and subsequently was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail for Embezzlement and Grand Theft,” Flores said.

Silva was released later the same day; no further court date has been set at this time.