The mother of a 14-year-old who was killed in a hit-and-run outside of Ocean City is facing charges for stealing from the foundation she founded to commemorate her son’s life.

Tiffany Knupp, the mother of Gavin Knupp, who was killed in a 2022 crash that spurred outrage in the Ocean City community, faces nine charges for embezzling funds from the foundation and a local restaurant, court documents show. Prosecutors allege that in 2023 Tiffany Knupp stole a total of $12,625 from the Gavin Knupp Foundation and Ocean City’s Shaka Pool Bar and Grill, which held a fundraiser for the foundation.

She allegedly used foundation money to pay a divorce attorney, deposited a check from a company selling merchandise on behalf of the foundation into her personal bank account, and mishandled funds raised for the family of another area teenager who died in a car crash.

“Tiffany Knupp was entrusted with overseeing the Gavin Knupp Foundation, but it is clear that she betrayed that trust,” Sgt. J. Pruitt from the Maryland State Police wrote in the court documents.

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Tiffany Knupp could not be reached for comment Thursday. Her first hearing is scheduled for July 23.

Gavin Knupp was riding to his Ocean Pines home with his sister in July 2022 when he was fatally struck after stepping out of the car to take a video of a taxidermy buck’s head. His death — and the initial lack of charges — captivated the small, tight-knit community that lives in Ocean City and Ocean Pines year-round. Signs reading “Do it for Gavin” and “Justice for Gavin” popped up at shops and restaurants along the beach town’s main highway.

In early 2023, Tyler Mailloux, 22, was charged with driving the Mercedes that fatally struck Gavin Knupp.

Gavin Knupp’s family launched the Gavin Knupp Foundation in October 2022 to honor his life and give to causes that aligned with his values, like the local surf club. Tiffany Knupp is the foundation’s president. Her ex-husband, Raymond Knupp, is its vice president, according to court documents.

The foundation had raised over $47,000 as of February 2023, according to its website, and donated just over $8,000.

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Tiffany and Raymond Knupp went through a divorce and had a “rather strained relationship,” court documents said. Wicomico County court records show a divorce filing in March 2019. Raymond Knupp said he’s no longer involved with the foundation.

A divorce proceeding in December revealed that Tiffany Knupp used foundation funds to pay her divorce attorney, the documents said. She allegedly declared under oath that the foundation had authorized her to use its funds to pay her attorney, but interviews with foundation board members contradict that.

Tiffany Knupp’s attorney was quick to push back against the allegations.

“These charges are completely bogus, based on distortions of the truth or blatant inaccuracies and we will fight these charges to their core,” attorney Thomas Maronick Jr. said in a statement that Tiffany Knupp shared on Facebook.

Another instance of Tiffany Knupp’s alleged theft involved a “Chili Cook Off” fundraiser the foundation held for the family of Carter Figgs, a 16-year-old who was killed in a car crash in Salisbury in October 2023. The foundation pledged to match the $3,200 in cash raised at Ocean City’s Shaka Pool Bar and Grill.

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Tiffany Knupp allegedly took the cash raised at the restaurant, which was supposed to be deposited into the foundation’s bank account, and shared with the Figgs family, according to court documents. But Tiffany Knupp issued the family a $4,200 check — over $2,000 short of the funds raised at the restaurant plus the foundation’s agreement to match it. No cash deposits were made to the foundation’s bank account during an eight-month period that included when the fundraiser took place, the documents said.

Maronick said that Tiffany Knupp deducted the costs of putting on the fundraiser, explaining why she came up short.

“It’s ridiculous is what it is,” he said. “They’re alleging that the costs of putting on the event is something she doesn’t have to deal with it.”

In January 2023, Tiffany Knupp allegedly deposited a $1,925 check from a company that manufactures and sells merchandise for the foundation into her personal bank account. The company, Shirts Fast LLC, would sell the items through their website and share the proceeds with the foundation.

Detectives spoke with a member of the foundation’s board, who said that all funds raised by the merchandise company were supposed to be deposited into the foundation’s bank account.