Booster club investigating 'significant fraud' by board member

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

At this point it is unclear exactly how much money was allegedly stolen.

DACULA, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned a Gwinnett County youth athletic association is investigating if a board member stole thousands of dollars, leaving the group's baseball season in limbo.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh began looking into this after concerned parents sent emails that the Mountain View Athletic Association in Dacula distributed to all parents.

Now, those parents want answers.

"What are those kids going to do? How do you keep the park running? How do you make me feel confident as a parent that that's not going to happen again in six months," asked Mountain View mother Latoya Kidd.

The Mountain View Athletic Association told parents it's investigating "significant fraud by a member of the executive board."

"I can't really understand how that could happen and nobody know about it," said father Eric Smith.

"We are currently in a thorough process to investigate how this alleged fraud occurred, what appears to have been misappropriated, and to determine how the organization should proceed to mitigate its potential losses.

"Although the investigation is incomplete, significant progress has been made. The Executive Board, on the advice of legal counsel, will be unable to discuss this matter while the investigation continues.

"However, please rest assured that we are working tirelessly to achieve a prompt resolution to this unfortunate incident so we can completely focus," the email said.

"Where are the audit tracks and who's going to help us as parents get control of this?" Kidd asked.

For now, parents are focused on the baseball season set to open Saturday.

Kavanaugh found county workers preparing the diamonds at Dacula's Rabbit Hill Park Tuesday.

Parents say the association fees pay for uniforms, equipment, concession contracts, even park lights.

"You're taking away from the kids," Smith said.

"It provides a place for our kids to go and play ball and build that team camaraderie. I don't know if people think about that really," Kidd said.

Kavanaugh called and emailed the association. Their secretary emailed back stating they could not comment.

At this point it is unclear exactly how much money was allegedly stolen.

Kavanaugh reached out Gwinnett County police about the incident but they say they have not been asked to investigate the missing money.