Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Posts Tagged ‘embezzlement

In these leagues, someone is stealing more than second base

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Do you kiss your just-got-out-of-jail-for-theft mother with that mouth?

It’s a pattern that plays out frequently in youth leagues across the United States. Someone steps up to handle the arduous, time-consuming task of handling the finances. The league trusts that person with everything. That person works doggedly. That person gets kudos from everyone for working so hard in such a thankless task.

Then a few years down the line, someone discovers that person has ripped the league off blind.

You probably noticed in my headline feed — you do notice my headline feed, don’t you? — that I was able to link to three different stories about three different reports of ripoffs in three separate leagues, all of which made news in just one 24-hour cycle.

In Florida, there’s a woman booked into a room at the Graybar Hotel for the next 18 months and forced to repay the $40,000 she embezzled from a soccer league over two years. Another soccer mom, this one in Pennsylvania, is facing jail time after being convicted of embezzling $75,000 from her son’s soccer league. Finally, a New Jersey baseball dad just got arrested on charges of stealing $20,000 from the league whose finances he handled. In each case, no one suspected anything until people started calling to collect bills everyone else in the league thought had already been paid.

Unlike, say, Ocala’s Big Sun soccer league (the first item in this list), your league can close the barn door before the horse escapes. This article from Athletic Business covers the basics, namely, having more than one person involved in handling the money.

Otherwise, you’re going to go to your league meetings and wonder why the treasurer is pulling up in a Bentley.

Written by rkcookjr

September 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Posted in crime, Sports

Tagged with , , , ,

Born to steal

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A former Norwich, Conn., alderman entered a no-contest plea on charges related to embezzling $4,650 from the local Little League and $10,567 from the Veterans Memorial High Stakes Bingo.

The former alderman’s name: John D. Crooks.

It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

Written by rkcookjr

February 25, 2009 at 9:57 am

Embezzle, fo’ shizzle

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In Frederick, Md., the sheriff’s department is investigating possible embezzlement at the local Youth Sports Association. Its interest was piqued after the group’s treasurer suddenly resigned, then her husband — a local football coach — suddenly resigned, and the association decided maybe it was time for an audit.


The sheriff (above), on the case.

At this point, I’m not sure embezzlement at a youth sports organization counts as news. Not when it happens so often. A quick Google search turns up a case pending in Ault, Colo., and a federal indictment in Seminole County, Fla. Youth sports embezzlement is so common, your league can buy insurance to protect against any losses.

Youth sports organizations are an easy target for theft because they tend to have one person handling a lot of cash transactions that are audited and accounted for by no one outside that single volunteer. Just like how a person who really wants to coach kids, but has none of his or her own, is now thought of a potential child molester, anyone desiring the job as league treasurer might need to be thought of as a potential thief first.

Then again, even a thief can get in, given the lack of volunteers for the long and tedious job of counting the money. That the Allendale (Mich.) Little League was swindled out of $16,000 should not have come as surprise, because the treasurer was OK’d even though a criminal background check showed one embezzlement conviction and one pending case. “This is an all-volunteer group,” the Grand Rapids Press quoted the current league president as saying. “You take what you can get.”

Unfortunately, “you take what you can get” is also the attitude of a lot of league treasurers. This article from Athletic Business details a lot of the usual advice for leagues — rotate league treasurers often, see if you can get an accountant pro bono to look at the books, etc. Sadly for Allendale, it left out the part about not hiring a guy with an embezzlement conviction.

Written by rkcookjr

January 23, 2009 at 10:50 pm