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Woman charged with embezzling from youth athletic fund

By Stephen Borowy

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    GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan (WNEM) — A 39-year-old woman from Flint has been charged with embezzlement for taking money from a local youth athletic fund, according to the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.

Board members of the Mt. Morris Mountaineers Wrestling group first reported their concerns to police in November 2019 after a check from the organization’s bank account bounced when they tried to buy uniforms for the program.

The Mt. Morris Mountaineers Wrestling group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises funds for the wrestling program at the Mt. Morris Consolidated School District.

At the time, the woman was serving as the elected treasurer for the group. The initial police investigation into the allegations stalled when the woman moved out of Michigan and the group’s financial records made it difficult to establish probable cause evidence that’s necessary for charges, the prosecutor’s office said.

In January, police received further information and the woman returned to the Flint area. The investigation was reopened and the prosecutor’s office issued an embezzlement charge after receiving the details of the investigation.

“Many communities have non-profit groups that are set up to assist and support local youth athletics and these types of informal groups seem to be the ones we see victimized most often by embezzlement,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

The woman was charged with embezzlement between $20,000 and $50,000, a felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. She will be arraigned in the 67th District Court.

“They are often lead by volunteers with little experience in managing organizational funds and oversight of the group’s finances is often loose and unchecked until it’s too late,” Leyton said. “There is a wealth of information on the internet that non-profit organizations can read up on to help them put safeguards in place to prevent embezzlement of group funds and, I encourage these organizations to do so sooner rather than later.”

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