Sports league reports alleged theft to police

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —

Channel 2 Action News has learned that Gwinnett County police learned of alleged embezzlement at a local youth sports league days after parents found out.
 
Gwinnett police confirmed the Mountain View Athletic Association of Dacula filed a police report Monday, more than a week after the booster club alerted parents to the alleged theft.
 
Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh obtained a copy of the report. Boosters believe someone was using a league debit card to pay for everything from concert tickets to personal bills. There was even a $400 charge listed at local dress shop.
 
Charges include debits from Tobacco Palace, iTunes, DirectTV and tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert. It appeared someone used the card to pay personal bills, including car payments. There was even a donation to the nonprofit Save the Manatee.
 
MVAA claims the charges were all debited from its account, thousands of dollars that should have been spent on the young Dacula athletes who play sports at Rabbit Hill Park.
 
"In the report, it's indicated that since August of 2012, the previous president has been using the association's finances for what appear to be personal purchases,” Gwinnett police Cpl. Jake Smith told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
 
Channel 2 is not identifying the previous president, because police have not filed any charges.
 
MVAA officials first notified parents March 1 they suspected “significant fraud” by an executive board member.
 
The association gave police the list of allegedly fraudulent charges spanning a six-month period, August 2012 through February 2013. The list totaled more than $24,000. The booster club said another $20,000 is still unaccounted for.
 
"It's hard to justify, just looking at it, how these had anything to do with the association,” Smith said.
 
When Kavanaugh first spoke to parents last week, they were skeptical and wanted answers. She reached out to the MVAA via phone and email, but had not heard back at the time this story was published.
 
The organization’s secretary responded last week, saying the group would not comment based on the advice of legal counsel.

Gwinnett County police said the case will now be assigned to a detective.

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