Thursday, August 23, 2012

Police investigating alleged embezzlement of Northwest Athletic Booster funds in Michigan


Police are investigating an alleged embezzlement of funds from the Northwest Athletic Boosters.

Detective Robert Shrock of the Blackman-Leoni Township Department of Public Safety would not release a name pending the outcome of the investigation, which he said could take up to a couple of weeks.

However, Shrock said the person being investigated is a member of the group’s board, and that about $8,000 appears to be missing from the account that supports Northwest Community Schools athletic teams.

The boosters called an emergency meeting Tuesday night that was attended by about 40 people, according to Kevin Fleming, booster president in 2009-10. Those in attendance were informed that only about $200 remained in the group’s account, Fleming said.

“This person stole from a bunch of children,” Fleming said. “Everyone there was feeling shock and anger.”
Results of the police investigation will be turned over to the prosecutor’s office for possible charges, Shrock said.

Northwest Superintendent Geoff Bontrager declined to comment pending the outcome of the police investigation. Bontrager did say, however, that while the boosters are a support group of the school district, they are a separate financial entity.
Fundraising to support Northwest’s athletic teams is a big part of the boosters, Fleming said. He said he worries that this incident may harm those efforts.

“I’m saddened,” Fleming said. “This is a good group of people who do good things for kids and I worry that now the trust is gone. I really hope this will rally people to get behind the group and take it to the next level to overcome this.”

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