Baseball club treasurer arrested for embezzlement

February 16, 2010

By J.B. Wogan

Sammamish Police have arrested a man who allegedly embezzled $21,371 from a local baseball little league.Because the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not yet charged the suspect, The Press is not naming him.

According to a police report, board members from the Spartan Baseball Club told police that a parent abused his position as treasurer and stole from the nonprofit baseball league. They told police that the suspect, as treasurer, had a debit card and checkbook from the league’s bank account, which is how he made unauthorized withdrawals and purchases.

The police report states that a board member noticed in January thousands of dollars missing from the league’s bank account. Board members told police that the suspect began withdrawing money from the league’s account as early as Oct. 6 and continued through Jan. 11.

They added that when they confronted the suspect, he admitted to stealing the money, resigned his position as treasurer and promised to reimburse the league by Jan. 31. He went so far as to sign a letter saying that he would pay back the money, according to the police report. When he didn’t deposit the money by that date, the board members went to police.

Detective Steve Perry, of the Sammamish Police Department, said police began investigating the case Feb. 2. Eight days later, they arrested the suspect for theft in the first degree and booked him into the King County Jail.

Records from the jail show he was released Feb. 11 on the condition that he shows up to a future court date. He did not have to post any bail.

Perry said police have confiscated the suspect’s computers and are examining them for evidence. He added that he expected to send the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office this week.

Rob Rosemont, president of the Spartan Baseball Club, said the club is a select Little League that formed in August 2009. It claims 11 teams with about 130 players between the ages of 8 and 13. In the fall, they practiced at Skyline High School, Pine Lake Park and Beaver Lake Park.

Rosemont said the league’s board members received a letter from the suspect Jan. 24 with an invoice outlining $12,000 worth of services the suspect said he had provided to the club. The letter also disputed roughly $8,700 worth of charges that the suspect argued were for the league. The letter concluded that the suspect only owed the league about $630.

“It started to become clear to us at that time that he didn’t intend to pay the money back,” Rosemont said.

Rosemont said the missing $21,371 accounts for about 35 percent of the league’s budget. This summer, the league’s 11 teams are scheduled to compete in four tournaments each. While the board had already purchased the team’s equipment, they had not purchased uniforms or paid fees for entering the tournaments.

“We have some extra work in front of us,” Rosemont said.

The suspect did not respond to a request for comment.

J.B. Wogan: at 392-6434, ext. 247, or jbwogan@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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