Saturday, February 16, 2013

Former Sycamore Stingrays President Charged With Embezzlement in California

A former Danville swim team president was charged Friday with embezzlement and has been accused of taking more than $225,000 in team funds for personal use, the Contra Costa Times reports.
After a three year investigation, Mark Eugene Thornton, 51, pleaded not guilty to eight felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement. Thornton was the board president of the Sycamore Stingrays Swim Team, a 230-member Danville swim club, from November 2006 until he termed out in late 2009.
Also on Friday, the Stingrays filed a civil suit against Thornton, that alleges a breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and conversion.
Thornton's attorney, Dirk Manoukian, says his client is innocent and always acted in the best interest of the swim club.
The Stingrays attorney in the civil suit, Debra Bogaards, told the Times:
For the membership, it's very important to them to see Mr. Thornton brought to justice. Many of the families felt a huge sense of betrayal of their trust...Not only was Mr. Thornton the president of the swim club, some of his children were on the team, as a person, he was well-liked, and he was put in a position with a lot of authority over swim club funds.
Thornton was released on his own recognizance and returns to court March 15 for the setting of the date for a preliminary hearing.

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