When volunteers are asked to oversee youth organizations, they must apply ethical standards. This means being honest and refraining from taking any money. This is especially important since youth sports teams and other organizations can have many thousands of dollars on hand through fundraisers and players' fees. One Massachusetts man faces embezzlement charges after allegedly taking money from Ashburnham Westminster Youth Hockey Association.
The man volunteered for the treasurer position for the association in 2010. It was later discovered that he had taken $29,000 from the organization. The man is from Leominster, an hour outside Attleboro. He denies the charges.
The case was recently moved from the district court to the superior court. The man faces two counts of larceny. His arraignment date has not yet been scheduled.
Grand theft or larceny charges can result in serious punishment. Because this is not a petty theft case, this could be charged as a felony, and the punishment could include many years of jail time. On top of that, many of those charged with theft crimes are forced to pay back the stolen funds.
Those who are charged with embezzlement and other types of theft should not give up hope. There are several defenses to embezzlement charges. For example, sometimes more than one person may have access to the money, so it's important to determine all the people who could have possibly stolen the money. This is especially true when a person has a joint account with another person. One person may have withdrawn the money without the other person's knowledge.
It's important to get legal help in order to present a solid defense. A lawyer may need bank statements, deposit slips, and other documentation in order to prove that the accused person did not steal the money.
Source: The Republic, "Leominster man indicted on charges that he embezzled from youth hockey organization" No author given, Dec. 11, 2013