Thursday, February 28, 2013

Plea agreement reached for embezzlement case involving Little League in Michigan

A Grayling woman, who said she took funds from the Grayling Little League and Grayling High School accounts for sports teams, plead guilty to a third of the criminal charges she faced last week.

Sandra Enos plead guilty to one count of embezzlement $1,000-$20,000 for funds taken from Grayling High School accounts. She also plead guilty to one count of $1,000-$20,000 for funds taken from Grayling Little League accounts. Finally, Enos plead guilty to one count for forgery regarding Grayling Little League financial records.

Two counts of embezzlement $1,000-$20,000, from separate cases involving the Grayling Little League accounts, were dismissed as part of the plea deal. Two counts of forgery were also dismissed. Finally, two misdemeanor cases of embezzlement-agent under $200, which were pending in Crawford County District Court, were also dismissed.

Enos testified that she deposited funds into her personal accounts and forged the name of a Grayling Little League Board member on a check.

The funds involved in the cases came from checks donated to the Grayling Little League, Grayling Viking Football Club and the Grayling High School Spirit Club, totaling $21,601.22.

Enos will have to pay $19,146.22 in restitution back to the Grayling Little League, $900 to the Grayling High School Spirit Club and $1,465 to the Grayling Viking Football Club. The parent-run spirit clubs solicit donations to ensure that student athletes are properly nourished and energized before their games played outside the community.

46th Trial Court Judge George J. Mertz accepted the plea agreement.

Enos was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 for the seven felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.

Scott Gabriel, president of the Grayling Little League Board of Directors, said he would have liked to have seen Enos forced to plea to all the charges she faced.

"I'm not real happy with it, but I guess that's the way it works," he said.

Enos met with Michigan Department of Corrections probation and parole staff after her court hearing.

Gabriel is hopeful that all the funds Enos is accused of embezzling will be returned, but the organization also has an insurance claim pending for its losses.

"There is a possibility that we would get the insurance claim and they would have to deal with her to pay them back," Gabriel said.

Gabriel said the embezzled funds have resulted in equipment not being purchased for Little League and not sending teams to tournaments.

"It's very sad and very disheartening that this happened," Gabriel said. "The program would have been in a much better standing."

Heading into a time when youth will hit the fields to play ball, Gabriel said that the Grayling Little League has 15 new board members who are eager to pitch in and help the organization.

"I think the program is going to be back up to where it should be and I feel real confident about that," Gabriel said.

Crawford AuSable School District Superintendent Joe Powers had just learned of the plea deal last week, and reserved commenting on the case until Enos is sentenced. Powers noted that the funds Enos embezzled were from private-parent run accounts that were not affiliated with the school district.

Enos resigned from the Crawford AuSable School Board of Education on July 25, citing personal reasons. She served on the board about five years.

Embezzlement $1,000-$20,000 is a five-year felony with a $10,000 fine of three times the amount embezzled. Forgery is a 14-year felony

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